If ever there were an industry that was tailormade to serve as a sponsor for eSports teams and leagues, it would be the auto industry. Driver video games are still a very popular genre among millions of avid video gamers, even those at the highest levels of skill. With eSports finally hitting the mainstream through online and cable TV exposure, this is the right time for leading automakers to step forward and get involved in one of the fastest growing online activities in the world.
To be clear, eSports is having a profound effect on a lot of industries. That would include the sports gambling industry where gamblers are now able to wager on matches and tournaments involving the best eSports teams in the world. It’s now just as common for someone to bet on an eSports match and get the results as it would be to bet on horse race at Cheltenham and get the Cheltenham results reported and paid.
Just a couple of months ago, Japanese carmaker Nissan announced it had signed a partnership agreement with not one, but two major eSports teams. The two teams are FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming for which Nissan has agreed to serve as Jersey sponsor for the current eSports season. The news was confirmed by Nissan North America Director of Media and Activation Robert Cross, who had this to say in a press release:
“For any company trying to reach the Gen Z and millennial-minded audience, streaming and eSports is an enormous opportunity. We believe this partnership presents a new approach in introducing ourselves and connecting with millions of fans through their favorite gamers.”
Along with the jersey sponsorship deal, Nissan will also reportedly provide new Nissan vehicles for FaZe and OpTic’s to be use as media content during upcoming league matches and tournaments. To begin the partnership deal, the company has announced the following models will be on display: Nissan Armada, Altima, Kicks and electric car Nissan LEAF.
Tapping into an Exciting Market
Nissan is not the only automaker to tap into this exciting market. The company is only the most recent addition to a list of automakers that includes BMW, which signed a contract with Cloud9, Honda with Team Liquid and Mercedes Benz, which has become a major part of Dota 2 ESL One events. During said events, the MVP player of the tournament is to receive a brand-new car as a gift.
What makes the union with eSports work for the world’s top automakers is the opportunity to reach an upwardly mobile group of twenty somethings who are especially appreciative of the latest and greatest technologies within any industry. The eSports gaming community has millions of participants and millions more fans and viewers worldwide. These are folks who are fiercely loyal to their favorite brands and have access to enough funds to buy the luxury items with which they want to surround themselves. Most important, the automakers are early entrants into a thriving community that realistically has much more room for growth into the future.