Nielsen Research Company Launches Its Own Esports Division

Published: Aug 19, 2017 - Last Updated: Jan 10, 2022

Another global research company is entering the esports arena. Nielsen, the UK-based information, data, and valuation company, is launching its own esports division.

The team will be responsible for providing sponsorship valuation, fan insights, and consulting services to different members of the industry.

Division accompanied by esports report

Besides launching the esports division, Nielsen also recently issued a report covering esports spectator trends in Germany. The company operates in over 100 countries and employs approximately 44,000 people worldwide.

“There’s a high demand for reliable, independent measurement of value in esports,” said Nielsen Entertainment President Howard Appelbaum. “We’re excited to enhance our client offerings and provide the industry with solutions that will help guide and optimize investment decisions in this exciting, growing space.”

The report, which was created in collaboration with Infront Germany and SPORT1 MEDIA, offers insight into the nationwide esports scene. For example, it shows 23 percent of respondents are interested in esports. This, according to Nielsen, is in line with Germany’s interest in cycling and volleyball.

Furthermore, the report shed light on how esports fans engage with industry content. Out of the entire sample, 62 percent said they are interested in attending an esports event in the future. This isn’t such a surprise, especially considering the prevalence of such events in the country.

The same percentage agreed with the statement that sponsors of esports events are becoming more attractive. The currently best-known esports sponsor within the 14-29 year age bracket is Red Bull (with 38 percent name recognition). It’s closely followed by Coca-Cola and Monster Energy (each accounting for 24 percent).

Plus, nearly half of the respondents stating they watch games they do not play themselves is in line with a recent report by Newzoo.

An advisory board of industry experts

The launch of the new division will include an esports advisory board. The team of industry stakeholders will try to shape the future of esports audience measurement and valuation.

It will include representatives from many well-known organizations, including  ESL, ESPN, Facebook, FIFA, Major League Gaming/Activision Blizzard, NBA 2K League, The Next Level, Sony PlayStation, Turner, Twitch, Twitter, Unilever, and Google’s YouTube.

“Nielsen has done a stellar job establishing itself as a popular and respected source for data, making its foray into the esports industry an exciting endeavor,” said Twitch VP and Commercial Director of Esports and Event Sponsorships Kristen Salvatore. “With Twitch being an online epicenter for the live viewing of esports content, Nielsen’s research will tie directly to our community and makes our participation in the advisory board a natural fit.”

Nielsen has also developed Esports24, a sponsorship tracking service made for esports competitions. The service measures the level of brand exposure by game title, event format, and location.

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“The global, digital and young nature of esports fan base audience represents advertising’s most highly sought after segment, yet consistent and high quality data has been a challenge to measure and define,” said ESL North America CEO Craig Levine. “As ESL has been pioneering esports for the past 15 years, we have witnessed the incredible growth and enthusiasm of our audience. We’re excited to partner with Nielsen and other industry leaders to guide the framework to measure esports sponsorships, shape the industry, and help further accelerate the esports industry overall.”

The company’s recent report on Germany is just one of many. Further research will include the US, UK, France, Japan, South Korea, and China in 2017.

Dejan Zalik

Since: September 12, 2015

Dejan has been involved in gaming for over 10 years. Moving from classics like Diablo 2, Lineage 2, and Warcraft 3, he found his passion in Dota 2, which he’s been playing ever since. He also likes to keep up to date by reading and writing about whatever is happening in the industry.

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