Why TwitchCon matters for brands

TwitchCon 2023 graphic
Image credit: Twitch

Twitch offers an in-progress look at the making of internet culture.

The 31 million daily visitors to Twitch form an integral and influential force in the online zeitgeist which, together with other social media services, is helping establish content creators as a new form of celebrity.

As content creator’s cultural influence has grown, so too has their advertising power, as many brands realised the positive influence streamers can provide. Marketeers are finding great return on investment by partnering with individual influencers to promote their products.

ESI singapore promo banner for articles

Leveraging the interpersonal, human relationships that Twitch streamers have with their loyal audiences can vastly increase the effectiveness of brand messaging amongst the gaming and livestreaming audience. Fans of streamers understand that branded content and advertising supports their favourite streamer.

Twitch’s internal research has found that 73% of Twitch viewers agreed advertising is important because it supports creators, whilst 63% agree any brand can advertise on Twitch.

Yet partnering directly with streamers is not the only opportunity brands have to connect with the community on Twitch; brands are building relationships with audiences at TwitchCon.

TwitchCon is the livestreaming service’s official community get-together. It’s where much of the online community meets; a melting pot of video games, esports, chess, travel, fitness, hair & beauty and myriad other fans coming together to bring an online community offline.

Having started in 2015, TwitchCon now sees tens of thousands congregate at bi-annual events held in Europe and North America. “TwitchCon is the IRL manifestation of our audiences getting together and meeting each other,” Martin Howard, Director of Sponsorship Sales at Twitch, told Esports Insider. “That’s what’s really special about it; they may have never even met each other in person.”

However, TwitchCon is not just a good way for streamers and communities to meet — it is also a great way for brands to get involved, Howard added.

twitchcon lock image
Image credit: Twitch

“A lot of brands are now looking to reach emerging audiences such as Gen Z and ‘gamers’. They tend to see a lot of esports sponsorships as one of the ways in, but they don’t tend to be as familiar with the wider gaming landscape and the gaming communities’ wider interests. TwitchCon is a great opportunity for brands to connect with this tight knit community.”

“There really is something for everyone at TwitchCon,” Howard continued. “There’s a vast range of content beyond gaming; variety streamers have meet and greets, there’s a legendary drag show, and artist’s alley where attendees can meet creative streamers and see their art in action.”

With its advertising campaigns, Howard said Twitch taps into audience interests in a way that is authentic to the brand and to viewers. “Twitch’s Brand Partnership Studio works with sponsors to ensure that the booth resonates with the Twitch audience. There’s endless creativity.”

For brands, it’s worth it: 71% of attendees spent time in the Expo Hall engaging with brands, Twitch said, while 53% felt this was the best part of the experience.

In 2022, StockX was a headline sponsor of TwitchCon Amsterdam. Twitch and the online marketplace created an immersive booth by working with streamers to show off the activation and having interactive games fans could play — the queue for the brand’s booth was round the corner, said Howard.

What does this mean for esports advertisers? As esports goes through a difficult period, the focus on content by esports organisations is likely to grow stronger, especially as more teams struggle to turn a profit on purely the competitive side.

Several major esports organisations and gaming brands have looked to capitalise on the power of streamers — plenty of whom are professional players, gaming talent and personalities. Almost all major gaming and esports organisations have content creators signed to the organisation.

For advertisers looking to reach the same valuable audience, TwitchCon is a strategic way to place a brand name amongst an audience with a wide range of interests spanning gaming, arts, music and more. Twitch’s data makes a strong case: TwitchCon can connect brands to a valuable, engaged community in an authentic way.

Jake Nordland
Jake has worked at Esports Insider as a journalist and editor since early 2021. Now ESI's Media Manager, he continues to act as lead editor of print magazine The Esports Journal, and contributes his words to the website from time to time.

Supported by Twitch