The global esports market is expected to surpass $1 billion this year — a 27% increase from last year — thanks to the explosive growth of brand sponsorships and media rights, according to the latest forecast from esports data company NewZoo.
Why it matters: More brand sponsorships means that companies see esports as a prime opportunity to get in front of younger audiences that could be big spenders. In total, NewZoo says sponsorships have grown by more than 30% since last year.
Brands still make up the majority of revenue that flows into esports, even if not for direct brand sponsorships. In total, about 82% of the total market will come from brand investments that include sponsorships, but also media rights and advertising.
Yes, but: Like the traditional sports business market, the fastest-growing esports revenue stream is by far media rights. (It's worth noting, however, that the NewZoo estimate doesn't included winner pools, betting, etc.)
Be smart: The North American esports market, which represents roughly 40% of the global market, is by far the largest esports market globally today. China, whose tech giants invest heavily in building esports businesses and culture, is set to overtake western Europe as the second-largest region in terms of revenues this year.