Breaking down IEM Katowice 2024’s key commercial findings

Benedikt Becker, Marketing Director of data and analytics company Shikenso, writes for Esports Insider to analyse some of the key commercial findings from IEM Katowice 2024.

IEM Katowice 2024 sponsorship key findings
Image credit: Shikenso

IEM Katowice, one of Counter-Strike’s most iconic events, set the standard for tier-one esports with over 1m viewers tuning in online alongside fans who flocked inside the Spodek Arena.

However, despite showing growth from a viewer’s perspective, how did the event perform commercially? Using Shikenso’s Esports Radar, this article looks at the event’s sponsorship performance, ranging from demographic insights to product placement strategies.

ESI London 2024

Product Placements The Way To Go

IEM Katowice 2024 hosted twelve sponsors in total throughout the entire event. However, two particular sponsors harnessed product placements unlike any other at this year’s event. Laptops from gaming brand Predator appeared nearly 3000 times on screen throughout the 85 hours of airtime. That is on average one appearance almost every 2 minutes. The laptops were strategically placed right next to the casters generating nearly half of Predator’s media value, which totalled €2.98m (£2.55m).

Another brand that capitalised on product placements was Monster Energy. The brand’s energy drinks appeared more than 2000 times on the ongoing streams. But that was not all, Monster took a holistic approach to maximize exposure at Katowice. Starting from logo placement to banners and even stage assets, Monster made sure it was omnipresent throughout the entirety of the tournament. Out of the 10 days of the event, it was the final match day that generated the most media value for Monster Energy with 16% of their total media value (€1.65m).

IEM Katowice 2024
Image credit: Shikenso

The first IEM event of the year showed that sponsor brand visibility was given more attention, especially during pre-round streams. Partners’ media value and exposure were greatly enhanced by strategic product placement.

Russia Tops Viewership Charts

According to Shikenso’s audience analysis, Russians flocked to the Katowice 2024 streams in hordes. Almost one in every three viewers of the tournament’s streams was Russian — 31.87% to be precise. This is quite the gap from second place, with Polish viewers making up 14.48% of all viewers. However, it was not only European dominance as the US, Brazil and Turkey were among the top 10 nations that viewed the event. The UK reached 5.11%, putting it as the sixth highest nation to view the event. 

But why the Russian dominance? Aside from their inseparable love for Counter-Strike, two main reasons stood out. Firstly, the participation of Cloud9’s Russian CS2 squad and Russian organisation Team Spirit likely attracted the crowd, especially with the latter going on to win the event.

Co-Streams Galore

More channels than ever before covered matches from IEM Katowice 2024. This resulted in a huge jump in terms of media value obtained from the previous iteration of the event. Shikenso’s data suggests that these co-streams accounted for more than 25% of the total media value of the tournament.

Some of the notable co-streamers included OhnePixel, Izakoo, and Gaules. These three streamers all managed to hit over 100,000 peak viewers on their streams. It is worth highlighting though that the overall media value, which totalled €25.15m (~£21.53m), only includes official event sponsors. Meaning that there is even more brand exposure from separate partners from co-streamers. 

The IEM Katowice 2024 not only portrayed the very best that Counter-Strike has to offer but also showcased how brands can leverage esports exposure. The rise of certain demographics, product placements and co-streams are all noteworthy events of this dynamic industry.  Any brand can make its mark in the esports scene by incorporating these findings. 

Need more data and insights on the event? Be sure to request your copy of the IEM Katowice Shikenso Esports Radar from the ESI Marketplace.

Esports Insider

This article is from our sponsor Shikenso.