Video game publisher Activision has tapped Nielsen to track, measure and value brand investments in its esports franchises.The measurement company “will measure brand exposure in esports events representing a variety of Activision Blizzard titles, event formats and geographic locations based on the same methodology that Nielsen uses to quantify value and benchmark performance for traditional sports rights holders and brands,” the two companies state.
In other words, Nielsen will track brand value in esports in much the same way it does for traditional live sporting events. It also provides reassurances to marketers that a trusted third party is verifying the value of a sports genre still fresh to the market.
The first leagues to be measured by Nielsen will be Overwatch League, Overwatch World Cup, Overwatch Contenders and Call of Duty World League. Toyota, T-Mobile, and Intel are among the sponsors of Overwatch League.
At an esports conference in New York City last month, attendees argued that as esports leagues organized—typically with support from game publishers and even major sports leagues like the NBA—bigger ad budgets would follow.
Still, one challenge facing publishers and marketers is that the young, predominantly male audience may be less receptive to traditional formats of advertising than older consumers.
“The esports audience has a nose for BS. They don’t like ‘logo slaps’, but they do like value exchange with a brand,” said Hi-Rez Studios COO Todd Harris at the esports conference last month.
“This group is jaded about traditional advertising, but when there is good content that they otherwise couldn’t have—whether in the game or on YouTube or wherever the platforms may be—or some legitimate value exchange, they will promote it tremendously.”