NewZoo: eSports Revenue To Top $1B For First Time Amid Industry Changes
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 11:49PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in NewZoo, eSports, eSports, eSports marketing

NYSJ Sports-Entertainment Business News Service

February 13, 2019:
Global revenue from eSports will reach a record $1.1 billion this year, topping one billion for the first time and up 27% from 2018, driven by advertising, sponsorship and media rights deals, according to a just-released report from industry research, analytics and consulting firm NewZoo, San Francisco.

That could reach $3.2 billion by 2022 on the optimistic side but potentially $1.8 billion.

Deals with brand marketers such as State Farm — which last month continued to build its eSports roster by signing a deal with Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo, Fortnite captain and streamer for ReKTGlobal's Rogue — are the largest category, with nearly $457 million in revenue anticipated for 2019.

Top income-generating categories this year also include media rights ($251.3 million), advertising ($189.2 million), merchandise and tickets (($103.7 million) and game publisher fees ($95.2 million), according to NewZoo’s 2019 Global eSports Market Report.

Audiences will grow to 453.8 million this year.

The report comes as the eSports industry in undergoing significant changes.

This week, Activision Blizzard (“Call of Duty,” “Overwatch”) said it would cut 8% of its workforce, about 780 people, over the next few months, citing revenue that was expected to decline this year versus 2018.

The NBA 2K League, prepping for is second season, has added to its roster of non-endemic marketing partners via a multi-year deal naming Champion Athleticwear as the league’s official outfitter.

Champion said it would provide the NBA 2K League’s 21 teams with game uniforms as well as warmup, travel and practice apparel. NBA 2K League partners also include State Farm, Intel, New Era, HyperX and Scuff Gaming.

The Overwatch League just signed Coca-Cola as its official beverage sponsor, adding to its roster of non-endemic partners including Toyota, T-Mobile, HP and Intel.

Last month. EA enhanced the Madden NFL 19 Championship Series, adding Bose, New Era Cap and Snickers as official sponsors.

This past September, MasterCard signed a multi-year partnership with Riot Games to become the first global sponsor for League of Legends and the exclusive global payment services partner for League of Legends global eSports events.

The brands, also partners with the NFL, will integrate into Madden NFL 19 Championship Series broadcasts to “increase exposure with digitally-native NFL and eSports fans.”

The Madden NFL 19 Club Championship was held Jan. 30-Feb. 2, timed to coincide with Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

According to NewZoo’s 2019 Global eSports Market Report, North America will account for $409.1 million of the $1.1 billion eSports revenue this year, China $210.3 million.

NewZoo said that overall brand investment revenue is predicted to increase to $1.5 billion by 2022,

League of Legends was the most-watched live eSports event (via Twitch and YouTube) in 2018 with 347.4 million viewers.

The Top Five also included Counter-Strike: Global Offense (274.9 million), DOTA 2 (250.4 million), Overwatch (101.3 million) and Hearthstone (54.1 million).

Overwatch League Signs Coca-Cola To Global Deal

LoL Gets Carded By MasterCard

NBA 2K League Builds Sponsor Roster With Champion Alliance

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