NYSE listed Nielsen launch esports vertical to provide sponsorship valuation

17 August 2017


Nielsen Holdings PLC, a global performance management company listed on the New York Stock Exchange has announced the launch of Nielsen Esports.

The new business vertical is set to leverage the company’s expertise in media consumption and valuation to provide sponsorship valuation, fan insights, industry research and consulting services. 

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Nielsen has developed Esports24, a syndicated sponsorship tracking service for esports tournaments. The aforementioned service serves to measure brand exposure in esports tournaments across a multitude of titles, and is based on the same methodology that allows those in traditional sports to measure value and benchmark performance. 

Nielsen reveals that the playoff rounds of major esports in 2017 that it has measured to date can yield between $75,000 to $17,000,000 in sponsorship value. Nielsen has also conducted various sponsorship valuations helpful for demonstrating return on investment for those involved in sponsorship.

The company conducted a valuation for RFRSH Entertainment, with a specific focus on the Astralis and Audi deal before the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ELEAGUE Major. The study showed that Audi received more than 10x return on sponsorship exposure during the ELEAGUE Finals and DreamHack Las Vegas tournament. The research suggests that a significant portion of the value was derived from broadcast exposure, but also points to nearly 40% of the return being driven by the likes of mentions and images across RFRSH and Astralis’ social and digital platforms. 

The company has further outlined that global fan insights will be released throughout the year, spanning the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Japan, South Korea and also China.

There’s no shortage of esports experience involved with Nielsen’s new launch. The company has put in place an esports advisory board with several big names from the industry. It features representatives from ESL, ESPN, Facebook, FIFA, MLG/Activision Blizzard, NBA 2k, Twitch, Turner, Sony and YouTube but to name a few. 

Stephen Master, Managing Director of Nielsen Sports North America, and Nicole Pike, Vice President of Nielsen Games, have expanded their current roles within the Nielsen Entertainment group to co-lead the global esports business.

“Nielsen has done a stellar job establishing itself as a popular and respected source for data, making its foray into the esports industry an exciting endeavor,” said Kristen Salvatore, VP/Commercial Director, Esports and Event Sponsorships, Twitch. “With Twitch being an online epicenter for the live viewing of esports content, Nielsen’s research will tie directly to our community and makes our participation in the advisory board a natural fit.”

“The global, digital and young nature of esports fan base audience represents advertising’s most highly sought after segment, yet consistent and high quality data has been a challenge to measure and define,” said Craig Levine, CEO of North America, ESL. “As ESL has been pioneering esports for the past 15 years, we have witnessed the incredible growth and enthusiasm of our audience. We’re excited to partner with Nielsen and other industry leaders to guide the framework to measure esports sponsorships, shape the industry, and help further accelerate the esports industry overall.”

Esports Insider says: Big moves from Nielsen, a hugely reputable and truly global business. This is something that should definitely encourage non-endemics to get involved, as they see the staggering returns that companies can make on sponsorship in esports. We look forward to seeing the insights from across the industry.