Sportsbet.io recently signed a commercial partnership with esports organisation Hellraisers, an organisation with a top 20 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team and as of late, a Dota team set to attend The International 7.
The gambling industry is very well known for sponsorship and commercial partnerships across a huge array of traditional sports. Now those brave enough have started to take the plunge into the wonderful world of esports.
Dias Ismailov, Head of esports at the Coingaming Group contributed this standalone piece to ESI, discussing the commercial potential of esports from a gambling industry perspective.
As the esports industry has experienced unprecedented growth in the last few years, it’s no surprise to see commercial partners seeking out opportunities to showcase their brands to its millions of loyal and dedicated fans. This is no different for betting firms, who are increasingly branching out from their established strongholds of traditional sports into the far more progressive and engaging arena of esports partnerships.
“Esports fans demand much greater engagement with their idols, compared to traditional sports, and commercial partnerships are an effective way of delivering this”
Some loyal fans often question the need for a commercial partner’s branding over a team’s kit, but it is these commercial deals which can help drive esports teams and tournaments forward. It brings with it greater funding and support which help it grow into the popular mainstream, where it deserves to be.
Sportsbet.io’s recent partnership with prominent CS:GO team HellRaisers is an example of a betting firm’s commitment to working with key stakeholders within the industry to improve and build on the current popularity boom across esports.
After a sustained period of looking for a suitable partner which benefits both esports fans and the team in question, HellRaisers stood out as sharing Sportsbet.io’s values and ambitions for furthering esports, and even in the brief time since activation, the benefits are being realised.
“It is these commercial deals which can help drive esports teams and tournaments forward.”
Deals such as these have various positives for the industry. Firstly, through greater financial support, HellRaisers and the like can foster new talent, with better resources allowing a more professional approach to the operation of esports teams, winning major tournaments and giving back to their fans.
These partnerships also provide fans a stronger involvement with their favourite teams through a new channels. As part of our commitment to giving back to esports, customers now receive enhanced prices on HellRaisers’ matches, as well as increased coverage of its star players through our social media channels.
Esports fans demand much greater engagement with their idols, compared to traditional sports, and commercial partnerships are an effective way of delivering this, bringing the community together in a way that the outrageous money in football and issues with player rights, for example, prevents.
We have communicated a message to our player’s since confirming the partnership that by betting with us, you are supporting not just HellRaisers but the entire esports world, and it is this mantra that we will continue to use over the coming years as we further invest in teams, tournaments and ultimately the fans.
The likes of Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Red Bull ramped up their esports sponsorship a few years ago, and have since reported success stories highlighting the unprecedented brand loyalty and customer engagement that comes with the gaming arena’s avid fans. It is this which bookmakers have looked to tap into, so far successfully, as betting becomes an extension of the esports product as opposed to a relatively disconnected offshoot of the industry.
There is no longer any doubt whether esports will take a foothold into the mainstream outside of its millennial base, it is now a question of when. This puts more pressure on betting firms when forming commercial partnerships to ensure we are not just slapping our logos on team shirts, but instead engaging and furthering the process of pushing esports into the mainstream, and that is something we will remain committed to.