Esports Marketing & In-Game Advertising Explained

Back to Blog - by Kyle Malone

The digital advertising landscape is evolving rapidly, with in-game and esports advertising emerging as powerful channels to engage with a highly immersive audience. By 2027, the esports industry is expected to reach $72 billion, while the in-game advertising market is projected to hit $18.4 billion​​. As more media buyers plan to invest in these areas, understanding the intricacies and benefits of in-game and esports advertising becomes crucial for brands looking to maximize their reach and impact.

What is Advanced Gaming Advertising?

In-game advertising involves placing ads within the gaming environment, including mobile, PC, and console games. This form of advertising can take various forms, such as video ads, static banners, native ads, and rich media.

Video Ads: Engaging video content seamlessly integrated into the game.

Static Banners: Non-intrusive banner ads placed within the game environment.

Native Ads: Ads that blend naturally with the game’s content.

Rich Media: Interactive and visually appealing ads that enhance user engagement.

Advanced Gaming Channels

In-game advertising channels include mobile gaming, which is the most popular platform and expected to grow significantly; PC gaming, which offers rich, immersive experiences for ad placement; and console gaming, which provides a highly engaging environment for ads.

Mobile Gaming: Popular apps like Candy Crush and Clash of Clans offer prime real estate for ads, leveraging the high engagement of mobile gamers.

PC Gaming: Games like League of Legends and Counter-Strike provide rich, immersive experiences where ads can be strategically placed.

Console Gaming: Titles like Fortnite and Call of Duty offer deeply engaging environments for effective ad placement.

What is Esports Advertising?

Esports advertising targets the audiences of competitive gaming events. This can include placing ads on livestream platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming during live esports events, sponsoring arena events for branding opportunities at live esports tournaments, and endorsing professional gamers and teams to boost brand visibility.

Esports Ad Formats:

Live Stream Platforms: Ads served during live streams on platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming.

Arena Event Sponsorship: Branding opportunities at major esports tournaments.

Player and Team Sponsorship: Endorsing esports professionals and teams to build brand loyalty among fans.

Esports Channels

Esports advertising channels include live stream platforms like Twitch, boasting over 70 million monthly users who stream over 400 million hours of content per month, which enable brands to reach audiences through video ads during live broadcasts; event sponsorships, which provide opportunities to sponsor major esports tournaments for increased brand visibility; and player and team sponsorships, which involve endorsing esports professionals and teams to build brand loyalty among fans.

Benefits of Gaming Advertising

Gaming advertising is characterized by high engagement, as gamers spend significant time interacting with games, providing extensive exposure for advertisers. It also offers expansive reach, allowing access to a vast global audience, with over 3.32 billion active gamers projected by 2024​​. The non-intrusive ad environment ensures that in-game ads blend seamlessly with the gaming experience, minimizing disruption. Additionally, the diverse ad formats, ranging from banners and videos to custom native ads, allow for creative and impactful campaigns.

Gaming and Esports Audience Insights

The gaming and esports audience is vast and diverse. Seventy-six percent of gamers play on mobile devices, 38% on PCs, and 37% on consoles​​. The esports audience is predominantly male, with 58% identifying as such, and significant viewership among Gen Z and Millennials​​. Gamers spend an average of 12 hours per week playing games, often using gaming as a way to pass time and relieve stress. Moreover, a large portion of gamers prefer ad-supported pricing models over pay-to-play models​​.

How to Build Successful Advanced Gaming Campaigns

Building successful advanced gaming campaigns involves leveraging advanced targeting and measurement techniques. Digilant’s advanced in-game and esports solutions utilize behavioral and contextual targeting to ensure ads are delivered to the right audience at the right time. Key features include access to top partners like Frameplay, Twitch, and Anzu; advanced targeting using behavioral and contextual data to tailor ads effectively; unique ad formats offering a variety of ad formats, including banners, video, and custom native ads; robust reporting providing comprehensive metrics on impressions, reach, frequency, and campaign performance; and accurate attribution and measurement insights into campaign effectiveness and lower funnel KPIs.

The Future of Advanced Gaming Advertising

The in-game advertising market is expected to reach $18.4 billion by 2027​​, with the mobile gaming sector alone projected to grow significantly, emphasizing its importance in the digital advertising mix. Esports revenue is expected to grow at a 5.9% annual rate, reaching $72 billion by 2027​​. Key platforms like Twitch boast over 70 million monthly users, making them prime channels for reaching engaged audiences.

Maximizing Advanced Gaming Ads

In-game and esports advertising offers brands a unique opportunity to connect with a highly engaged and expansive audience. By leveraging advanced targeting, diverse ad formats, and strategic partnerships, brands can create impactful campaigns that resonate with gamers and esports fans. As the industry continues to grow, staying ahead of trends and utilizing comprehensive measurement tools will be crucial for maximizing the potential of gaming advertising.

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