Domino’s Pizza is set to become the latest big company to get involved in the esports industry.
Initially, it was hard to fathom why a company like Domino’s would even be interested. However, it seems that Domino’s interest is at least partially inspired by developing future careers for works in its industry.
The fact that Domino’s is just the latest in a long line of companies you would not ordinarily expect to have an interest in esports is not be lost on anybody within the industry. This is more than a tech business. Let’s examine how.
Esports is a massive, profitable and still-growing industry
Once a niche market, esports is becoming a global phenomenon. Estimates are that it will become a billion-dollar industry this year with the potential to grow massively beyond that in the coming years. Indeed, China is already reporting that it expects to have an esports industry worth billions within the next few years alone.
Given those numbers and the capacity remaining for growth, it is abundantly clear that these big businesses want to claim a slice of the financial bonanza pie. That may sound somewhat callous, but there is no doubt that if esports were not likely to be significantly profitable, then these companies seeking to invest would be far less enthusiastic.
However, the benefits of this will be felt within the esports community in a number of ways. Prize money at tournaments can increase markedly as a result of a sponsorship deal with a big company, furthermore, having that name linked with the tournament can also significantly raise its profile, thus attracting potential other investors.
More money for tournaments means that the better quality teams and players will be more in demand and while it is likely that the top teams and individuals will still compete for the biggest prize-pools, this could free up space in other slightly less lucrative tournaments for other teams and individuals to compete in and thus the “trickle-down economics” takes effect as the invested cash starts to work its way down to the lower levels of the esports industry.
Factor into this the fact that the esports industry has barely begun, that new games can come along within the next 3-5 years that could revolutionize the industry, that new tech could be developed for individuals, either players or spectators, can become involved in esports in new and exciting ways (such as Sony’s Virtual Reality headset tech we mentioned last week), and it is clear to see that this already huge market still remains potentially untapped and ripe for expansion.
Reaching the notoriously difficult millennial market
Over the years, there have been many businesses and organizations that have reported that it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract interest from young adults. The “Millennial” generation, as they have been called has proven to be extremely difficult for companies to target using previously standard forms of advertising and as such, finding a way to reach a wider selection of this socio-economic group of young adults, is something businesses are always on the lookout for.
However, a significant proportion of esports players and professionals, as well as the millions of spectators online, are all from this particular demographic. Therefore, the esports industry offers businesses a ‘direct line’ into marketing their products and services to this particular group.
Furthermore, as companies like Domino’s become actively involved in programmes which help people in this age group further a career within the esports industry, they are not just raising their profile with these participants, but also increasing their popularity while doing so. That is a smart market strategy as it means the next time these individuals want to order pizza, there will be one name at the forefront of their minds.
So rather than spending millions on consultants trying to come up with ways to attract Millennials to use products or buy items, becoming involved in esports may actually be a cheaper, quicker and more effective way of targeting this market, on terms where they feel comfortable and in control and in a way which promotes a healthy respect for the company, rather than being viewed as an intrusion.
There is no doubt the world is changing, not just in terms of how we do business, but also how we use our leisure time. Esports is playing a role. It has altered the leisure time activities of millions of people across the globe.
Add to that the impact of social media and the internet and it is easy to see why so many companies want to stay ahead of the game and future-proof themselves against new developments. To do that, having a finger on the pulse of what is happening now is key.
After all, the Millennials of today will soon be the 40-year olds of tomorrow, with likely far more disposable income and with a far greater technological understanding than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
Combine these three factors and you can see why so many top businesses are clamoring to join the esports community.
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