US Insights

Esports are the Next Frontier for Retail

Meaghan Werle

Senior Analyst

Retail 02.15.2019 / 09:00


Esports have the potential to become the first global sport.

Are your kids glued to the screen playing “Fortnite?” Or perhaps you caught Tyler “Ninja” Blevins starring in last week’s Super Bowl commercial for the NFL 100? Regardless of your familiarity (or lack thereof) with video games, esports (electronic sports) are starting to move mainstream.

Defined as multiplayer video games played competitively for spectators (both online and in person), esports have the potential to become the first global sport. With 395 million viewers worldwide in 2018, brands can now engage with a massive and passionate community of esports fans through platforms like Amazon-owned Twitch. Interestingly, this audience is not limited to teenage boys. In fact, 82% of consumers under 40 play video games in the U.S. and 4% of Prime members use Twitch, according to Kantar Consulting’s U.S. MONITOR and ShopperScape, respectively.


While the brand playbook for esports is similar to the one for traditional sports, the digital nature of video game streaming offers new opportunities for advertising, affiliate marketing, and influencer partnerships, all with a direct path to purchase. Much like social media, esports should be in the consideration set as an emerging channel for eCommerce, for both endemic (gaming-related products) and nonendemic categories (such as apparel, carbonated beverages, snacks, and personal care). To learn more about how manufacturers are leveraging esports to drive brand exposure, product awareness, product innovation, and ultimately, sales, check out Kantar Consulting’s Digital Double Click on the topic.

This report features Kantar Consulting’s 2018 U.S. MONITOR data, based on surveys conducted in March/April 2018 among a sample of 11,500 U.S. respondents 12 and older using an online methodology. The U.S. MONITOR Survey has been in the field tracking consumers’ attitudes and values since 1971. Since survey data are weighted to Census demographic norms, the survey provides a nationally representative sample as well as a sample representative of ethnicity. The survey was administered in the language of choice (English or Spanish) to Hispanic respondents.

Source: Kantar Consulting

Editor's Notes

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