India is Fast Embracing Esports & Gaming and So, Should Brands

Nibedita Mohanta
Nibedita Mohanta Jan 19 2019 - 3 min read
India is Fast Embracing Esports & Gaming and So, Should Brands
In the US, almost 80% millennials count on ads for information on products, and over half of them don’t think ads are a nuisance. Read on...

There’s no one as busy as the millennials. Born on the cusp of a world wrapped in technology, they straddle their lives between numerous tabs on their digital screens. The ones born towards the turn of the century, live in a world of Internet and social media. With the world accessible from their mobile phone screen, they now do work emails, videos for entertainment, college projects and updating social media – all at the same time. 

Chew on some of these numbers to get to the tip of the iceberg:

  • By 2020, India is set to have over 400 million smartphone users. Soon, we will have more smartphone users than the USA
  • An average mobile internet user spends a whopping 200 minutes a day on surfing websites and apps
  • Google and Facebook, combined, comprise 85% of all media spends in 2017
  • In the US, almost 80% millennials count on ads for information on products, and over half of them don’t think ads are a nuisance.

When brands want to reach out to the new consumer who is always surrounded by noise, the communication that used to work 15 years, or even 5 years ago, fall short of reaching their ears. The millennials aren’t in grocery stores or reading hoardings to make purchase decisions. Spending millions on traditional media is perhaps not the wisest of decisions. It’s obvious then, advertisers must now go where the millennials are. So where are they? 

  • Social Media: Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram
  • Apps like Tinder, Buzzfeed, Spotify
  • Online communities where they meet like-minded and people from a similar age group 

The last bit is interesting, and the landscape for that has changed dramatically in the past 5 years. One of the fastest growing interest areas for younger millennials, aged between 15-25 years, has been esports. A massive community with huge money and cult following, esports and gaming enjoy a global audience of over 385 million millennials. And almost half of these are below 25 years of age. These are stunning numbers, and if your brand wants to talk to them, it’s a sector you simply cannot ignore. Sample these viewership numbers, to know how big the sector it. 


The 2017 NBA Finals      24.5 million
IPL 10 (2017) Finals    39.4 million
League of Legends World Championship Finals  75.5 million

The sheer magnitude of this is astounding. Three times of the NBA and double of the IPL viewership numbers.

A silent revolution is brewing, and brands are unaware! If advertisers reach out to just the esports platforms, they potentially talk to 76 million people with high purchasing power, profoundly inclined towards technology, extremely loyal to brands and readily influenced by relevant, relatable marketing campaigns. It’s the reason that global giants have been pumping in big money into esports and gaming advertising.

Coca Cola, Asus, Logitech, BenQ, Visa, Mercedes, Flipkart, Snickers, Samsung, Red Bull, Microsoft, and Mountain Dew have all gained big by sponsoring esports events. Notice how many of these are brands that have kept up with the times, always remaining relevant and building a loyal following over decades?

This article is written by Mujahid Rupani, Co-founder and C.E.O, Cobx Gaming.

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