Business intelligence firm Statista states that in the financial year 2021, there were around 17 million viewers of esports in India. This number has almost doubled from 2019. It is also estimated that in 2025, there would be around 85 million viewers of esports events on 20 different platforms, making India one of the fastest growing markets for esports viewership.
The millennial and Gen Z audience are into esports, and that’s what marketers are after. This is the audience set that is no longer watching TV or reading the newspaper. They are online and they are playing games and watching esports tournaments. That apart, esports as a category is driven by communities and that makes targeting all the easier for marketers
Esports is now a huge part of the sports marketing landscape in India. Brands such as Pepsi, Airtel, Flipkart, BookMyShow, Red Bull, Mercedes-Benz, Yes Bank, and many others are already collaborating with esports platforms and tournaments.
While these brands are the early adopters in the segment, other players and sectors are also following suit as the scope and growth of esports increases and they become more convinced of the benefits and viability of this category.
The esports industry in India is expected to touch INR 11 billion (approximately USD 141 million) by FY 2025 and would be collectively defined by 1.5 million players, 85 million viewers, 20+ broadcasters and several brands, organisers, and publishers.
The scope of reaching a vast and wide audience, including audiences consuming regional content, is an added benefit. PUBG Mobile World League East for instance had a consumption in Hindi with 12 times more audiences as compared to English. Tournaments streamed on Loco were broadcast across six languages: Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and English. This presents a very interesting way for brands to reach out to audiences, who are close to reaching viewer fatigue with the regular commercials and advertisements. This is an unique opportunity to reach audiences and influence brand image in the same way.