What the Supreme Court's Landmark Sports Betting Decision means for Esports
The Supreme Court yesterday in a 6-3 decision struck down PASPA which prevented states from legalizing sports betting. While there are incredibly broad implications in regards to the sports industry as a whole, our own EVP of Esports Bryce Blum wrote an Op Ed for ESPN focusing on the ramifications for our corner of the world — in which relatively scarce conversation took place.
While this decision comes at a time when esports gambling scandals have waned, my questions from a macro perspective surround a few key topics:
- Match Fixing. How will publishers ensure the integrity of their games are maintained? How will they treat and interact with sports book operators, if at all?
- Financial Implications. Does this change the economic model for the broader esports ecosystem, namely teams? Will franchised leagues open up the gambling sponsorship category or will league-wide deals — such as the one that the NBA is considering — have revenue-sharing mechanisms for teams?
- Underage Gambling. How will stakeholders ensure that gambling around video games — which have a dramatically younger audience than traditional sports — stays above board and away from kids?
All of these questions, and many more were covered by Bryce. Read more here.
Why Actionable Data Matters More Than Ever For Brands Entering Esports
As esports expands, major brands are evaluating sponsorship opportunities across leagues, teams, and players with an eye on the sizable audience esports offers. When deciding to focus on a specific title or specific team, decision makers often rely on data to guide them. The esports audience leave a huge digital footprint from all their online activity. When collected accurately, analyzed effectively, and deployed properly this datacan drive engagement and, ultimately, revenue.
If brands want to know consumer behavior, they must start by understanding how consumers actually spend their money. Below is an analysis of real esports fans spending behavior in the QSR category.
Analyzing online interests or expressed intent won’t necessarily reflect where purchases are being made. When brands concentrate on tangible products in the shopping cart or online cart – where consumers are actually putting their dollars, regardless of what they may say – a more significant evaluation of purchasing behavior can occur.
This matters to the future of esports sponsorship because unique purchasing data can make data actionable. By understanding the real purchasing behavior of the audience across many different spending segments, brands can begin to build a more robust picture of the audience they are actually reaching with their esports sponsorship dollars.
Once it is clear there is a true market fit between a brand and general target audience, sponsors can next use the power of data to find the right fit for their entry into the space. By finding the right fit (whether it’s a team, league, or tournament organizer), brands can ensure their sponsorship efforts are authentic in their approach to the sponsorship.
The power of esports sponsorship data-based decision making has already been utilized to great effect as seen Dr Pepper’s recent TSM Sponsorship. Based on a social follower analysis, it was determined that Dr. Pepper and TSM’s League of Legends team exhibited a strong existing shared social following.
This strong audience overlap, coupled with real purchasing behavior insights, helped make the case to Dr Pepper that their partnership with TSM was a good fit based upon the data, and not just a gut feeling.
It’s worth noting that the power of data doesn’t end when the sponsorship deal is signed. All brands want to see a return on their sponsorship dollars, and one way to measure that ROI is to look at the shared social following growth between a brand and their sponsored team over time to see how effective it is.
Measuring the change in shared social followings over time allows both the brand and the team to see audience overlap growth. The brand can see an increase in brand awareness within the specific community they are sponsoring, and the team can see if the specific sponsorship is resonating with their community.
This becomes important when it’s time to renew the sponsorship deal, as both sides want to see value and understand the return they’ve gotten on their partnership. Relying upon data before, during, and after a sponsorship deal allows both sides to make a more informed decision about whether or not a sponsorship was actually worth it – and that’s a good thing.
FanAI enriches data that teams and leagues already have with real world social and purchasing information, enabling our clients to better identify their fans, learn how they spend, and target them wherever they are. Our platform turns data into action, and channels the results into a sponsor’s bottom line.