New study with Activision explores impact of advertising on esports audiences

Activision Blizzard Media, Alter Agents and Immersion explore impact of advertising on esports audiences compared to traditional sports audiences

New study data compares engagement, emotional impact and performance metrics of viewers aged between 16 and 40

Los Angeles, CA – 16 February 2021 – Activision Blizzard Media engaged market research firm Alter Agents and neuroscience experts at Immersion to complete a study on the emotional impact of advertising and sponsorships on esports versus traditional sports viewers. The multi-cell, trimodal research study found that during sponsorship ads, the immersion (measured as the attention and emotional response of the viewer) was more sustained for esports viewers.

“Savvy marketers are learning that esports is a substantial conduit to a young, affluent, and valuable audience. To match this savvy, esports platforms need to recognize that the onus is on us to empirically demonstrate the power of this platform and these audiences,” said Jonathan Stringfield, VP, Global Business Marketing, Measurement, & Insights, Activision Blizzard Media. “The findings from our immersive biometric study with Alter Agents and Immersion show that ads during esports keep viewer attention, perform higher and boost positive brand perception.”

The research, which was conducted in late 2020, consisted of a survey of esports and traditional sports viewers from 16-40 years old. A series of in-depth respondent interviews to provide context and color to the findings. Emotional response sessions were conducted using Immersion’s distributed and real-time neuroscience platform to reveal advertising’s emotional impact at a physiological level.

Specifically, the data indicated that:

  • Esports is better at keeping viewer attention during sponsorships ads, resulting in higher performance on critical brand metrics.
  • Esports viewers are more accepting of advertisements than traditional sports fans, showing a higher immersion score, defined as “attention plus emotional response.”
  • Brand favorability and brand perception are higher for esports experiences compared to traditional sports.

Esports outperformed traditional sports on key immersion metrics, demonstrating its merit in delivering measurable impact for brands. The findings show that esports is a legitimate and effective advertising media channel, which can reach, engage and positively impact target audiences.