Exploiting the esports market by unmasking the player

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Who qualifies as a player? Two decades ago, it was predictable — usually a teenager eating junk food in a basement. And while this type of player still exists, marketers are beginning to recognize that the target consumer is far more sophisticated and complex.

“Everyone thinks of players and their stereotypes, you know, Doritos and Cheetos and Mountain Dew in a basement – that’s not accurate anymore. Basically, if you think of an NBA fan, you’re going to think of someone older or an NFL fan you’re going to think someone older but elite athletes you know especially in games and with esports yeah they are younger they have to be to play at that level, so I think it’s important for people and marketers in general to separate people who are playing from people who are consuming content or actually playing a more relaxed level, explained Jason Chung, executive director of electronic sports at the University of New Haven.

Player Identity

According to Joshua Schall, products should not just be marketed to gamers, but to strategic demographic subgroups within the gaming community.

“If you think about players as a whole, I think most people would probably be surprised that I think the average player is in their thirties, owns a house and has a few kids at this point. There so has a huge breath between the whole gaming community and it’s hard to paint them with just a wide brush, I think each individual game has its own ecosystem and there’s a lot of nuance that goes into that, so it has to be targeted, like any other CPG offering at this point.You really need to figure out where you want to play in the niches and where you’re going to have the best ability to gain market share and make sure you’re standing for something and you’re not don’t try to attack everyone and until you reach no one, “​ said Schall, CPG industry strategist at J. Schall Consulting.

Come to a school near you

Once considered a pastime for the lazy, the game is making its way into academia, with middle and high school scholastics growing in membership.

“We are seeing more and more states developing esports programs and supporting them in middle and high schools. So I think it’s a really exciting opportunity to consider later on what this might mean not just in terms of the individual, but also how it connects to STEM education. They are very analytical kids, they are very creative, they form strong communities, to some extent they are perfectionists and many of them will enter at least college level, careers related to computers, engineering mathematics, etc. ​said Holden MacRae, PhD, co-founder, chief science officer, technology, research and data at FITGMR.

“Personally, as a parent, I would never consider playing a video game to be an entry point into a long-lasting career with fantastic opportunities, but there are around 140 different careers you can pursue in apart from being a competitive player and they are careers related to media, entertainment, event management, what we would consider the more traditional periods of encoding or computing, for example, and then all kinds of offshoots of these different entities as well,” he added.

Reaching young players

“Most people would say that morally and ethically maybe you shouldn’t necessarily market directly to kids, but I think with just the media exposure at this point, kids get those messages a lot earlier and I think they drive a lot of that interest to their parents. I don’t necessarily think it should always be towards the parent, I really think the kids are going to get messages one way or another and I think if you have an offer that’s important or applicable to them, I think strategies need to be put in place to get in front of their eyeballs,”Schall said.

Community is key

Schall said with so much interest in getting involved in the space, brand owners need to understand how important community and authenticity are to gamers, adding that getting into the game means being part of it. of the conversation.

“There’s a level of two-way communication and the ability for these influencers or gaming personalities to really foster a strong bond between their audience and it’s important to understand that there’s this constant two-way communication and if you don’t not part of the larger conversation or part of the culture and actually understand how to communicate properly and be able to talk about how it needs to be presented within individual communities – because those could be very different if it’s it’s World of Warcraft or League of Legends or even just something like Fortnight – you have to understand the lingo and the lingo and it’s about taking a strategic approach before you jump into any of those areas as a what mark, Schall says.

“I think we’re really at the beginning of everything we’re talking about here and if you’re in a rush and you’re making decisions thinking ‘I have to rush and I’m going to lose my opportunity’, I think that’s a bad decision. . You have to think about it long-term and how to properly position yourself to cumulatively provide value to the community,” he added.

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