Sponsorships are the biggest source of revenue for the growing esports market, and that includes mobile gaming tournaments.
Skillz has launched brand-sponsored tournaments, which enables marketers to fund competitions for any games that run the company’s esports platform. This provides an avenue for brands that want to reach an audience of engaged gamers on mobile. Esports is traditionally for professional players on PC and sometimes consoles, but Skillz brings competitive gaming and a chance to win cash prizes to a variety of apps on smartphones and tablets. These kinds of tournaments can attract a large player base who will return to a game more regularly than they otherwise would, and this is potentially worth a lot to marketers.
Through Skillz, brands can sponsor specific tournaments or an entire game. The companies can even host live in-person events now. These deals should lead to more prize money for Skillz competitors, and it should also lead to more growth in the $493 million esports market.
“As eSports continue to gain in popularity, we’re seeing the same evolution we saw with offline sports like basketball and football,” Skillz chief executive Andrew Paradise said in a statement. “It starts by defining rules, then building a player base, and finally adding broadcast and spectator opportunities. When the transformation of a game into a sport hits an inflection point, major brands want to get involved. With mobile esports now representing more than 30 percent of the industry’s prizes, we’re excited to give brands a way to connect with the diverse audience that mobile has attracted.”
Skillz did not identify participating brands. More than 10 million people are registered with Skillz, and the company points out that 49 percent of them are women. So it’s possible that these sponsorship opportunities could attract brands that you would not typically find at traditional esports tournaments.