Using Esports Efficiently to Enhance and Extend Brand Perceptions – A Literature Review

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Abstract

While discussion and media coverage of esports (i.e., organized competitive video gaming) has dramatically increased since 2016, the use of esports by established consumer brands has not been emphasized in the sport marketing and sponsorship literature. Though appearing in limited sport management research, esports is a non-traditional sport form that generated just under $1.2 billion in revenue as an industry in 2019. However, many non-endemic traditional consumer brands have resisted capitalizing on esports brand-building opportunities. This paper provides a literature review of the past and current esports and sport marketing literature, resulting in the creation of a figure depicting the esports endemic and non-endemic company evolution of esports brand utilization. The evolution of the competitive video game market details how endemic companies are more apt to establish themselves in the esports space before non-endemic companies because of the way that the industry moves and has acceptance by gamers and non-gamers. Marketers and brand managers that have historically employed traditional sports may glean ideas on how to best enhance and extend their brand through the burgeoning esports industry. Moreover, ideas regarding when companies should enter the esports ecosystem is provided.

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