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Mobile e-sport tournaments to grow: GroupM

ESP Properties, GroupM's sports and entertainment marketing agency, has announced the 'Top Sports and Entertainment Trends for 2019'. A look at the predictions.

ESP Properties, GroupM's sports and entertainment marketing agency, announced its 'Top Sports and Entertainment Trends for 2019' report. The report covers consumer consumption of cricket, storytelling and mobile gaming.

Mobile e-sport tournaments to grow: GroupM

Vinit Karnik, business head of ESP Properties India says, "2019 will be a year for sports and entertainment. With cricket on our minds for more than half the year, brands would want to revolve their game around the sport and athletes. While e-sports is becoming big, it is only expected to get bigger. Almost 20 per cent of share of spend is expected in digital and ad spends in sports and entertainment marketing is expected to grow."

Here are the key findings of the report:-

Cricket to dominate 'media and mind measures' in 2019

2019 is expected to break all records of cricket consumption on TV and digital. The sport is all set to dominate media in 2019, thanks to the upcoming Vivo IPL tournament and the ICC Cricket World Cup. The first six months of 2019 will see Virat Kohli and team monopolising consumer eyeballs and advertising money. It will also see 'Team India' moving base from Australia to New Zealand post the ODI series. This will be followed up by hosting Australia in February to play the ODIs and T20s. With the ICC World Cup in England and Wales, Indians are expected to break worldwide records in terms of overseas travel to watch the sport live which, in turn, boosts the sports tourism economy. With such a start to the year, emerging leagues may have to reset themselves to make their presence felt and stay relevant.

Embrace the athlete, embrace their stories

One of the biggest marketing trends of the year is storytelling. The sporting landscape will see the true value of talent, beyond just top cricketers, being unlocked. Brands which can use athletes and their storytelling power will garner massive interest from fans and advertisers, owing to mass media exposure via TV and one-to-one engagement through social communities.

Federations and leagues will have to carefully evaluate talent contracts in terms of talent usage rights for self, sponsor activation and scope of the engagement. With social media becoming the primary engagement platform, the right balance between personal and public imagery will be the main talking point in 2019. One can't rule out a policy for talent on national duty for social media engagements and media appearances.

Definition of 'sellable' content to be rejigged by newer monetisation models

Experimental content is facing challenges for release in large scale formats like cinema. With newer digital platforms taking centre stage, there is scope for experimentation with storytelling. For example, content such as Lust Stories and Love Per Square Foot have captured a new audience via a digital-only release. This trend is expected to continue.

Broadcasting platforms to lean on data-driven insights and player access to engage and build fans

While traditional broadcast media passed on gold standards of content from linear to non-linear platforms; best practices in consumer engagement will move from non-linear to linear platforms. For example, Watch 'n' Play on Hotstar during Vivo IPL 2018 has redefined consumer engagement norms for traditional linear broadcaster(s).

Moreover, increasing insistence on player access as a 'sponsorship right' in the sporting ecosystem is bound to blur lines in personal endorsements. The professional sporting ecosystem in India is over a decade old and advertisers have started looking to sponsorships as a one-stop solution to media exposure and talent access.

Mobile Gaming to take centre stage in the CPU dominated world of professional e-sports

Globally, professional e-sport competitions are primarily held on computers and consoles; mobiles take a backseat. In India, we're witnessing a different trend where tournaments are being held on the mobile, courtesy - PUBG mobile. The game has approximately 10 million+ daily active users which is more than any other game in the world, across any platform. It is already giving gamers in India almost half the prize money of an e-sports league in India and this is only going to grow.