In the world of eSports, sponsorships are everything, it’s by far the biggest source of revenue available to teams. When looking for sponsors, teams try to convince them that their brand name is worthy of being associated with the particular company in question. The popularity of the eSports brand and its reach in the desired demographic, as well as the stability of the team’s position in the eSports scene, are some of the most important factors for companies when they consider whether to sponsor one organization or another. Both Cloud9 and Team SoloMid have scored a clear victory recently, when they inked a deal with the streaming giant, Twitch.tv, where they would represent both organisations in sponsorship sales deals, targeting mainstream brands that have nothing to do with gaming.
With the recent growth of the eSports scene, organizations and events are beginning to stand a good chance of getting a sponsorship from big non-endemic companies due to eSports’ unique ability to reach the 18-35 male demographic, one of the hardest parts of society to advertise to, especially after SNICKERS started sponsoring Turner’s ELEAGUE. Out of all North American eSports organizations, probably the only ones to be able to compete with Cloud9 and Team SoloMid in popularity over various games are Counter Logic Gaming and Team Liquid. Twitch is the undisputed leader in video game content streaming in the Western Hemisphere. Together, all sides could benefit massively.
What does each organization bring to the table? Using the org’s League of Legends teams as an example, the players from both are at the or at least near the top of the most popular League of Legends streams whenever they are broadcasting, often having more than 20 thousand people watching whenever they are online. That many eyeballs at all times brings with it some great leverage in negotiations, especially when both organizations are practically guaranteed to play in the NA LCS for years to come.
Where Twitch comes in is in their much more widely developed sales department. Speaking on the matter, Twitch’s Vice President and Commercial Director for eSports, Kristen Salvatore told dotesports.com: “Twitch’s global sales team is nearly 100 people strong, with offices literally around the globe. We’ve built a robust sponsorship sales organization within that team who’ll be leveraging the infrastructure and reach of our group as a whole on the direct sales side. And we’ve built a sponsorship operations group devoted entirely to the tactical execution of sponsorships, ensuring top-notch service to both sponsors and our teams.”
All in all, the deepened ties between Twitch, C9, and TSM can only be a good thing for everyone involved. Team SoloMid and Cloud9 get to take advantage of the immense sales team from Twitch, while the streaming giant has some of biggest names in NA eSports to use as leverage while negotiating and showing what kind of viewership numbers they could bring.