RÜCKENWIND goes eSports

RÜCKENWIND sponsors awakening5 and invites clients to attend the event in an esports black box.

Munich, 19.08.2019 – Between August 16 to 18, 300 gamers from 16 nations gathered to play 11 tournaments on 30 games consoles, using 100 screens. AWAKENING5 is Germany’s biggest eSports tournament for the game: Super Smash Bros. The events marketing agency RÜCKENWIND sponsored the event and invited some clients – including BMW and Citrix Systems – to attend. In a custom-designed Black Box, RÜCKENWIND held a workshop that lifted the lid on the world of eSports, explaining why and how brands should get involved. It may once have been regarded as a nerd-fest, but eSports is well on the way to becoming the world’s most popular sport.

“eSports is the sport of the future,” agrees Marc Dalkolmo, the founder and managing director of RÜCKENWIND. “According to the IPSO Academy, 365 million people were actively following eSports events in 2018. By 2022, that number is predicted to rise to 644 million. The market is growing constantly and there is a huge amount of potential for brands and business. There are 35 million gamers in Germany alone and three million can be categorized as eSports fans.” The idea behind the workshop was to give clients a bit more of an insight into competitive computer and video gaming and get them to experience the atmosphere and passion of the gaming community first-hand.

The events agency also dispelled the gamer stereotype of an unathletic, nerdy guy playing all day long in the basement. Sports psychologist Kevin Bäcker from the German University of Applied Sports Science in Cologne explained that like jet pilots, eSports players need to make lightning decisions and be able to navigate their way through complex situations in mere seconds: “You need to have fast reactions and excellent hand-eye coordination. Far from being unfit, elite eSports practitioners are high-performance athletes who need to follow a nutrition plan.

The target audience is above average in terms of educational attainment and young. 75 percent of gaming fans are between 18 and 34 years old and 44 percent are students. “Whether you’re a business in the technology, sports, lifestyle or food and beverage industries, eSports offers a way of connecting with young people that simply isn’t available through your normal media channels,” explains Nicholas Fuhrmann, the eSports project leader at RÜCKENWIND. “Because of streaming sites like twitch.tv, eSports are the perfect platform for brands to show up in and tell their stories to a global audience.” Depending on their communication goals, brands can advertise during streams, sponsor tournaments, teams or individual players, do promotions at live events or set up influencer lounges and streamer rooms.

“At RÜCKENWIND, our philosophy is to make brands into an experience,” says Marc Dalkolmo. “It’s no different with eSports. To find the right messaging, you just need to understand the brand and the target audience.” As well as advising its clients, RÜCKENWIND also put on a seminar for gamers and spectators at AWAKENING5 to introduce the agency and explain how to put on a tournament. The agency also discussed the importance of powerful ideas, powerfully executed and presented some successful case studies.

(Article by Daniela Palatzky)