What do football clubs see in esports?

With esports becoming even more popular, it is clear to see just how many gaming platforms have started implementing it into their own competitions and tournaments in similar fashion to other gaming franchises. 

Many are used to simply playing poker games in their pastime as a method to competitively play against one another, this ultimately forged a strong fanbase over the years and created a whole new genre. Since then, esports have caught the eye of many major football clubs who are now looking to tap into another market to help form their brand. Esports which is also referred to as electronic sports is a term used to describe competitive video gaming. In this context, it is worth exploring what football clubs see in esports how they are trying to grow their brand.

Firstly, many football clubs are investing in the future of esports as esports can help engage a younger audience and keep them interested in the sport. For example, football video games such as FIFA have allowed football clubs to popularize themselves through the screen. FIFA which was created in 1993 allows football fans to function on screen as their favorite football player competition in various tournaments and be part of a team. With the popularity of football themed video games soaring, football leagues have started to integrate with eSports via their own competitions. For example, England’s Premier League launched an eSports competition in 2018 permitting football fans to take part on behalf of their club in FIFA. Not only was this instrumental in keeping fans engaged and loyal to the brand, but it also strengthened the connection between FIFA players and professional players. There are many benefits of football clubs investing into the world of esports and creating their own individual teams as they believe that they have a role to play in that team. This virtual sense of involvement can translate to real life where they believe they have a camaraderie with the football club.

Furthermore, another reason why football clubs see esports as a key part of their brand growth is because modern technology has allowed fans to place bets on esports just as they typically would before or during a match. As betting on eSports is expected to hit $8 billion in wagers this year, there is a lot of opportunity for football clubs to spread their name and to attract more fans. In this way, it encourages sports fans to become more involved with their favorite football teams and players by wagering their money on them. Over time, many of those people who have been betting on esports are more likely to transfer this loyalty to real life football matches by betting on football clubs. If eSports fans can be attracted and on-boarded to sports betting, they will engage more with associated sports like football as well.

Moreover, when it comes to esports, there is a higher possibility of a football club getting more sponsors and experiencing higher levels of growth on a wider scale. In fact, by partnering with esports it opens up the possibility of sponsorship from brands who may not have been on the radar before. With many sponsors on a quest to crack the esports market, this liaison could attract them in. For example, Manchester City have previously signed an esports deal with Turtle Beach who create gaming headsets and audio accessories. This has resulted in the esports team adorning items from Turtle Beach which is a deal that could only have been secured through the avenue of esports.

On top of this, esports are a great way for football clubs to cement their reputation and influence the opinions of those playing them who are potential fans of theirs. Therefore, there are a huge number of people who apply the knowledge they know about real life sports to esports. There are also many who exclusively use video games and esports to learn about the world of real-life football clubs. Not only can esports enhance the expectations of those playing it, but they can also have a huge impact on the opinions and representations associated with various players and football clubs. For example, if a specific player or football club was painted in a positive light in a video game, people would be more likely to have a positive outlook on that team and player in real life. This could impact their loyalty to that team including if they want to support or bet on it.

Ultimately, it is evident just how much esports have assisted and catapulted the success and popularity of football clubs. From solidifying their brand, lifting fan engagement levels, and increasing the exposure of football clubs, it seems that esports are incredibly beneficial for them. As modern technology continues to advance and make esports even better, in the future we should see the relationship grow even further between football clubs and esports. So, as we enter a new era of sports, why not try out esports today to see just how exciting they are?


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