Snack Week 4 – The Future of eSports for Affiliates

For the fourth entry to our snack series, the company has given us insight into what is to come for the eSports industry and what this means for affiliates.
We’ve spoken a lot about eSports in our snack series.  It’s meteoric rise, a bit about its background, demographic and niche.  Now we get down to the most important part, is there any money-making potential for affiliates in this channel?
Is it Just Hype?
Some people in iGaming are dismissing eSports as a “fad” or something that won’t be of real value in the betting community.  The reality is, many people said this about online bingo and online casinos and social betting too – and look what happened next.
With eSports, all the figures show that this industry is booming – there is plenty of investment, there is a lot of opportunity and if you get your timing and niche just right, you’ll be able to build a brand, or community that pays dividends to your business long term.
There is an excellent opportunity to tap into an untapped market and create great revenue opportunities in your business. Just like regular sports, fans of players, games and teams will bet on their favourites – and arguably more likely to do so as they tend to be much more invested in eSports.
Are their Room for New Players
The great thing about eSports is that it is attractive to a younger demographic. As long as developers continue to create entertaining and engaging games, and tournaments continue to dish out significant prize funds – then there will be more players emerging into the market.  eSports is now regarded as a regular sport which is always evolving and changing.  Millennials are the key to new players, and new blood into the industry.
The opportunity is about targeting niche audience – not about how. From casting, to streaming and odds comparisons there is a wide opportunity to build a brand and a following and this is what is attractive to any esports brand to invest in. Players are lead by trust and brand recognition in this space. Brands are interested in reaching a wider audience, so if you marry these two things successfully you’ll be in a good space to grow and gain traction fast.
Who are the Biggest Operators in the eSports Industry?
There is a mix of eSports operators evolving.  Some brands are eSports specific which generate a large percentage of the market share such as Unikrn who have lots of eSports coverage, offer streaming content – and have personalised their experience to be specific to the eSports demographic.
There are others such as betway and bet365 – who have implemented eSports add-ons to their existing brands. Although they may not have as much content that will resonate with the eSports fan, they are well-established and have higher betting limits that can be attractive.
Get in Early
Our advice is that you need to get in early and establish your niche now.  Making sure you are in the mix before your competitors will build brand power and generate revenue.
If you establish your brand later in the game, you will always be playing catch up which isn’t what you want to do if you recognise the viable opportunity.
What’s the Value of an eSports Player?
There isn’t enough data as yet to establish how much an eSports player is worth, however with players earning over $3 million, and tournaments becoming increasingly prolific with no sign of slowing down – it is a safe bet to say that there is money making potential here.
Another thing to think about is the player lifecycle.  As eSports fans are incredibly loyal to their teams and will watch live streams religiously – the likelihood is that they will continue to support this and maintain a relationship with a betting brand that best suits their needs.
The numbers never lie,  as long as you get in early and establish your niche – there is a great opportunity for iGaming affiliates and operators to generate revenue.

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