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6 Trends in Esports

What they mean for brands

By now, most brand marketers who play in sports and entertainment have been turned on to the massive industry that is gaming and esports. GMR has done in-depth research on how esports fans and players feel about brand marketing. And new research from Nielsen uncovers trends in the larger gaming atmosphere as a whole.

We asked our esports team to weigh in on top trends from the Nielsen research and what they mean for sponsors and brands.

  1. Gaming is everywhere. Gaming and gamer culture is much more prevalent than many people may realize—64% of the U.S. general population age 13+ play video games of some sort.

  2. Device loyalty is a major marketing factor. Gamers’ increased loyalty to playing on just one device reinforces the need for marketers to consider multi-pronged approaches. In other words, there is less and less crossover between PC gamers and console gamers, so you will need to employ different tactics to reach the various gamer-groups.

  3. There’s a big difference between general gaming and esports. There is an important distinction to make between ‘general gaming’ and ‘competitive/esports gaming.’ While the majority of general gamers in the U.S. prefer console over PC (47% to 27%), we know that most esports players prefer PC.

  4. Market in person to console gamers. There are absolutely opportunities for brands to reach that general gamer audience. Console-based gaming platforms are an obvious starting point. And since 69% of console gamers prefer physical copies of games (i.e. walking into a store and buying a hard copy), reaching them via retail promotions will be a very viable marketing tactic.

  5. Market digitally to PC gamers. Conversely, PC gamers (including but not limited to the competitive esports crowd) prefer digital downloads of games (75%), making digital/social promotions much more effective for reaching this target group.

  6. Esports fans are a valuable consumer segment. Nielsen’s calculated average age demographic for esports fans of 31 is very telling of the value of this audience. These are not just young kids or people living in mom’s basement. These viewers are an influential consumer segment, beginning to earn real wages, with real spending power that will only grow as they age.


Want to dig in further? Understanding gamers is key to marketing to them effectively. Download our free report to learn more.  

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