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Leveling Up Fan Engagement: 6 Innovative Ways for Sports Brands to Dive into Gaming & Esports

Often in conversations we have, Sports clubs and businesses don’t see the ways they can utilize gaming and esports outside of entering players that represent them in a independent tournament against other teams. But just like in sports, not everything at a club has to directly involve the tournaments they represent themselves in.

So we thought we’d break down some ways to get gaming fans involved in activities with your brand and how to engage your audience in person with esports.

1. Beat the pro

1v1 me bro.

Whether it’s a pro esports or sports pro, letting fans have a chance to meet and play a videogame against a professional is exhilarating. One of the beauties of gaming is the level playing field, that no matter your age or gender you for the most part have just as good an opportunity to practice a game and get good at it.

2. Sim racing Time trial

Esports racing simulator activation helping fans engage in brands with gaming

Sponsored by a car company or dealer? What better way to engage gaming fans by sitting up a sim racing booth and giving away prizes in a booth branded with your sponsor. Sim racing is something that everyone at any level of experience as a gamer can understand. The rush of going full speed around a track without the risk of crashing is an immersive gaming experience expensive to emulate at home as well! So what better opportunity to let folks participate than at an event.

Taking it to the next level and adding in a prize for the fastest lap is a way to tie in multiple sponsors too! Why not have a fan sit in a BMW branded sim booth to win a mini fridge and a holiday package or tickets to the next match.

3. Mini Tournament

Esports is competitive gaming. But those competitions don’t have to be for huge prize pools with thousands of players entering. Hosting smaller scale competitions is a great way to help fans show their competitive edge and gaming skill against fellow supporters.

Anecdotally, while at an education tradeshow showcasing gaming laptops for schools, alongside a Fortnite high scores competition, we set up an impromptu inter schools rocket league 2v2 competition: it went down an absolute treat with the kids and teachers alike. with kids from each school screaming on their classmates in support, even having never played the actual game before themselves. With accessible spectator esports like rocket league or EA Sports FC (fka Fifa), it can engage fans even without a controller in their hands.

4. Go Retro

Arguably the original esports - bring the high score board back to life; Bringing generations together with retro arcade booths of pac-man and space invaders lets older gaming fans enjoy some virtual fun alongside the younger audience that doesn’t always have the modern luxury of an arcade. Take it to the next level and make it free to play and a high score prize just like our previous activations and you’ll be dancing.

5. Gaming Lounge

Xbox gaming lounge providing entertainment and gaming brand activation for young fans of esports and gaming

Arrive at the stadium early and looking for something to do - why not sit down and play some casual competitions against friends and strangers, and showcase your Fortnite creative skills. Engaging esports doesn’t have to be about hard core try hard competition. An approachable environment for gamers to get excited or parents to do something with their kids is a great way to give fans memories to last.

6. Road show

Taking esports to the people! Esports is something where fans expect they’ll have to travel to watch or participate, but it doesn’t always have to be the case. There are a bunch of different ways to travel with esports but one of the coolest has to be with a transforming esports truck.

Esports truck showcasing a great way to host a gaming and esports brand activation for young fans

Esports and gaming are so often misunderstood from outside of the industry, but there are so many ways it can be tapped into and this is just scratching the surface. With the gaming industry worth more than film + music combined, and 3.09 Billion gamers globally it's no wonder it's such a great way for brands to engage their fans with something new.


Dale R Murray | Creative Director

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