Brand Management
Branding in eSports: An Empirical Analysis of the Specifics of Public Relations Compared to Traditional Sports

Article Details
Pub. Date : June, 2022
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Brand Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJBRM010622
Author Name : Gerd Nufer and David Mariot
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Marketing
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 17



For some time now, eSports has complemented the portfolio of many sponsors in sports. Through partnerships with important organizations, brands are gaining a foothold in the eSports landscape. While the communication work with media and fans in the framework of conventional sports has been tried and tested for years, Public Relations (PR) in eSports is new for companies. The paper examines the requirements of PR in eSports. These are identified by analyzing a quantitative survey among eSports fans. The results prove the existence of significant differences in the requirements of successful PR in eSports. The differences are mainly based on the different target groups and their media usage behavior. Classic formats such as TV or print are ignored by eSports fans. This influences the choice of media partners for sponsors. Successful PR in eSports is based on the creation of added value for the fans. Establishing the brand as part of eSports requires patience and long-term planning. It is important to maintain a close exchange with partners in order to jointly design attractive formats for media and their consumers.


Many well-known companies have been involved in eSports for some years now. Global brands such as Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz or Vodafone are complementing their decadesold commitments in traditional sports such as football, tennis or golf with eSports. In long-standing partnerships with established sports, companies have been able to gain experience in Public Relations (PR) activations. With the start of their eSports engagement, however, companies often enter a previously foreign environment.

In the context of conventional sports commitments, the cooperation of sponsors with the media is well-rehearsed and routine. The media contacts are known, popular formats in magazines, on the web and on TV are established, and the roles of all stakeholders in the context of a PR activation are distributed. In addition to the sponsors' own work in the area of eSports, however, the sports itself is still in the discovery phase. Rapidly increasing prize money and salaries, sold-out halls at events and the founding of new