An Analysis of Sponsorship Strategies in Esports

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Harmon, Cory
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University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
Esports, while originating decades ago, have become exponentially more popular in the last decade. Because of this, businesses are tempted to enter the industry in the form of sponsorships to promote their brands. While well-known companies already have esports sponsorship deals, there is still hesitation from many others. This study examines the sponsorship practices of one endemic and one non-endemic brand. The endemic brand that was analyzed is Razer, a company that manufactures and sells gaming peripherals and has been in esports since the company’s beginnings in 1998. The non-endemic brand was State Farm, an insurance provider that started in 1922. This company entered the esports industry in 2018 but had a deep history with traditional sports sponsorships that influenced their strategies in esports. This study includes a literature review of the beginnings of esports and gives definitions and explanations of sponsorships. This is provided to give the reader context as to why these brands wish to sponsor in esports. There is background given for each company for their general history, as well as esports background for Razer and traditional sports background for State Farm. Then, the strategies of each company are analyzed and then made into advice for other brands wishing to enter esports sponsorships.