One of the largest emerging digital markets of recent years, esports is an industry worth an estimated $493 million, as well as being just as popular as American football for US teens. Despite this, it’s a market that traditional affiliate marketing has so far failed to penetrate.
At the most basic level, esports and daily fantasy sports (DFS) represent a new way to reach new audiences. From a betting perspective, they offer a social aspect that ensures longer-lasting excitement compared to a regular wager, with the idea of competing directly with other bettors rather than a bookmaker actively encouraged.
Esports is one of the rare verticals that engages affluent males. It has a reputation as being a male-driven product and industry, but a study conducted by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) earlier this year found that there is also an increasing amount of female players. Perhaps the most significant finding from the FTSA study was the higher degree of education held by esports bettors, compared to casino players.
Typically these players are in engineering jobs, earn a decent salary, and tend to be high-spending, intelligent players.
Driving physical traffic
There is a real opportunity for affiliates and marketers to drive physical traffic to outlets screening esports. This may seem like a bit of a curveball, but there are many places in the US where people go for esports, and affiliates can provide that missing link that drives players to these venues.
These places offer players the chance to watch, bet and share the experience with friends, and given the size of the US esports market, certainly represent an interesting opportunity.
Esports offers a unique opportunity for affiliates to engage an audience via both endemic and non-endemic partnerships. If the audience is engaged with the right product and the approach is solid, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be a lucrative advancement for the affiliate sector.