The popularity of sports apparel with Millennial and Gen Z consumers makes partnerships with esports teams a likely emerging trend, according to a new report.
The recent Sportcal analysis, Sponsorship in the Apparel Sector, showed that esports apparel deals tripled last year within the industry, citing significant deals made by Adidas and Nike with a combined value of US$600 million.
“Esports continues to defy expectations,” said Sportcal head of analysis and consulting Conrad Wiacek. “With brand sponsorship already a crucial part of the sports revenue, it is perhaps no surprise to see that esports has followed traditional sports in exploring the viability of kit deals.”
He said that while Nike and Adidas make for natural partners, esports apparel opportunities are appealing beyond the traditional ‘kit suppliers’ with the likes of Louis Vuitton building partnerships in this space.
“With nearly half the esports audience based in Asia, many brands see esports as a way of reaching this fan base. While Louis Vuitton is already present in China specifically, the ability to partner with esports engages both the younger audience and the countries growing middle class.”
Wiacek concluded that developing technological solutions to engage modern audiences could prove a game changer for the sector.