Matt Wallace is a Sports Partnerships Executive for OMD Create Sydney, executing activation, sponsorship and content solutions for a wide range of client needs in the sporting landscape.
The year is 2030 and you’re heading to Sydney Olympic Park to watch the biggest sporting event of the year…the FIFA World Cup. It’s game day! You and your mates are immersed in the atmosphere, you’ve had a couple of beers and you’re ready to cheer home your favourite player.
Players from around the world have congregated to Sydney to battle it out to be crowned the ultimate FIFA champion. The best footballers in the world will be avatars controlled by elite gamers. Yes, that’s right, this is an esports event that will determine the best virtual footballer in the world.
You might think that I’m exaggerating, however esports is already a massive phenomenon around the world. According to this CNCB article, esports can become a $1 Billion industry in 2019 and exceed $1.6 billion by 2021. The League of Legends World Championship last November attracted 100 million unique viewers and last year’s Superbowl saw total viewership peak at 103 million. Other sporting codes should be on alert, because esports is set to become the biggest sport in the world.
The Sports Partnership Team at OMD have been working closely with brands to help them understand and navigate the esports space. We’ve helped brands connect with hard to reach audiences in authentic ways by aligning with the right games.
Our biggest partnership to date has been with McDonald’s and Overwatch (you can view the Overwatch trailer here) By working with Blizzard Entertainment and You Know Media over the last two years we’ve been able optimise our approach and innovate through new ad platforms and integrated opportunities. We’re taking inspiration from traditional sports broadcasting and looking to ensure Macca’s has a reason to turn up across multiple touch points with a fully integrated comms approach.
Macca’s branding and campaign messaging was prominent throughout the recent Overwatch Finals at IEM, hosted at Olympic Park on May 4th & 5th.
At IEM, a 360 approach included high-impact digital placements, in-game integration, long and short form content, social conversations, activations at live events and the shared use of IP across owned assets.
This category continues to move quickly and we are busy taking our learnings from our first instore activation and applying them for an even stronger approach at the next Overwatch Final’s in Melbourne later this year. Watch this space!