While being a professional gamer sounds like it’s all fun and games—securing an eSports sponsorship is serious business.
Asking and pitching for an eSports sponsorship takes planning, research, and a bit of marketing savvy.
Sponsors care about more than just your follower or subscriber counts—they want to know how much you’re truly able to influence your audience, and whether your audience matches their target demographic.
So, to land a sponsorship, you’ll need a compelling sales pitch backed by data. Here’s how to ask for an esports sponsorship using key insights from your social media metrics.
Table of Contents
- Which Metrics Should You Track to Secure Sponsorships?
- How to Build an eSports Pitch Deck with Social Media Metrics
- Case Study: How One of Our eSports Clients uses Keyhole
- Earn More Sponsorships with Keyhole
Which Metrics Should You Track to Secure Sponsorships?
Every business is looking to make data-driven decisions. When seeking out influencers for their brand, eSports sponsors want to know:
- how big your audience is?
- who your audience is
- how much influence you have over your audience
There are thousands of esports gamers out there, so you need to present them with specific data on why they should choose you or your team over anyone else.
As we go through these metrics, keep in mind that you can track and present data related to:
- Your main team accounts
- Your team members’ accounts
- Your team’s branded hashtag
- Your sponsors’ accounts
- Tournaments you’re playing in
It’s about painting a full picture of everything your team can bring to their brand.
Here are the key metrics that can help you ask for an esports sponsorship:
Your total follower count is the number of fans, subscribers, or followers you have on your social media accounts.
More followers, of course, translates to more views, shares, and comments on your content—so gaining followers is the main goal for most social accounts.
That said, follower count is only a surface-level indicator of an account’s popularity. Accounts with equal numbers of followers can see wildly different audience engagement depending on the quality of the posts, when posts are made, or how often the posts are shared by other influencers.
Why followers matter to eSports sponsors: High follower counts are a great way to get your foot in the door with sponsors. But buying fake social media followers is a real thing, so sponsors want to know they’re getting the real deal You’ll need more compelling audience metrics to make a great sales pitch.
Bonus Tip: A steady follower growth rate is an indicator of your ability to grow your audience organically over time, vs. a one-time flash in the pan. Using Keyhole, you can showcase your historical follower growth rate.
Impressions are a
measure of the total number of times your content was displayed on someone’s
Each social media network has a slightly different method for calculating impressions, but in general, they capture the total exposure of your posts.
On platforms like YouTube and Twitch, views would be considered an impression.
Raw impression metrics are useful on their own: they provide a count of the number of views on your posts and videos. But in context with other metrics, like followers and reach, they can also help measure your ability to resonate with your audience.
For example, if your post reaches 10,000 unique users, but receives 30,000 impressions, that means your average audience member came back to your post 3 times. That’s a telltale sign you’ve created something great.
Why impressions matter to eSports sponsors: Branding is all about repeated exposure. The more times your sponsored content will be viewed, the more impact it will have on your sponsor’s brand.
Keyhole can show you the time of day and day of the week when your posts receive the most impressions. You can modify your posting times based on what times are the most optimal to share content. Having that data is a great way to get the most out of sponsored posts.
Reach is a measure of how many people saw your social media content.
Unlike impressions, reach doesn’t count multiple viewings from the same user.
Reach is therefore a measure of the total spread of your content. Of course, the more followers you have, the more reach you’ll get on the average post.
Beyond your follower base, though, your reach metrics can showcase your ability to go viral. For example, on platforms with sharing, like Facebook and Twitter, high reach could mean lots of reshares of your post. On platforms without the re-share option, like Instagram or TikTok, this could mean your posts receive high favorability from the feed algorithms.
Why reach matters to eSports sponsors: Most sponsors want to see their content reach as many people as possible. High reach on your content indicates an ability to connect with large audiences.
Engagement & Engagement Rate
Engagement is a measure of how much your audience interacts with your content. Likes, comments, shares, mentions, retweets, favs, and reactions all follow under the umbrella of engagements.
Engagement rate is a formula that measures how much interaction a social media account receives relative to another metrics—like followers, impressions, posts, or reach. Engagement rate is a truer measurement of your content’s ability to resonate with people.
For example, an account that receives 100 engagements across 50 posts has an engagement rate of 2 engagements per post, and isn’t nearly as impressive as an account that receives 100 engagements on a single post.
Why engagement matters to eSports sponsors: Brands want to form an emotional connection with their target audience. High engagement rates mean that your content naturally speaks to people, and your sponsors want to be associated with that positive emotional connection.
Keyhole is a real-time conversation tracker that provides keyword + hashtag analytics and social media analytics across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Get started for free here.
None of the above metrics can tell you anything about who follows you. And that’s why sponsors are coming to you in the first place: because you have a specific audience they need.
Social media analytics tools can uncover key audience demographics, like which countries your followers are from, their gender, the keywords they interact with most often, and which devices they use.
Why follower insights matter to eSports sponsors: Most brands have a complete persona in mind of the exact demographic they want to target. For example, a brand could be targeting female gamers in the United States own PCs and love cats. If you can prove that your audience matches up with their target audience, you’re far more likely to land that sponsorship.
Regularly checking in on your follower insights can help you tailor your content more closely to your audience, which can help raise all your other metrics.
Here’s where you can take things to the next level.
Using sentiment analysis, you can measure how people feel about you. Sentiment analysis is an automated process that scans text for words associated with positive or negative emotions.
Major brands use sentiment analysis for market research, customer service, and reputation management, but gamers can use sentiment analysis to show how much their audience loves them.
Why sentiment matters to eSports sponsors: Brands are highly selective when choosing who to sponsor, because their brand is their currency.
They’re looking to create positive associations, so they can’t risk associating with unlikeable personalities. If you can prove you’re not just popular, but also well-liked, that’s another argument in your favor.
How to Build an eSports Pitch Deck with Social Media Metrics
Now that you’re an expert in the most important social media metrics, it’s time to craft your data into a sales pitch and create a compelling marketing report.
Here are the key steps to building a great presentation when asking for an eSports sponsorship:
1. Research the Sponsor’s Brand
Learn as much as you can about the sponsor’s brand and business goals. Research their past marketing campaigns, press releases, recent product launches, social media accounts, and blogs.
- Are they trying to increase brand awareness?
- Do they have an active social media presence?
- Who appears to be their target audience? Does it align with your audience?
- Are you a natural fit for their brand?
2. Detail How You’ll Solve Their Problems
As you go through these questions, write down your answers in as much detail as possible. As you write, you’ll start to uncover a narrative to help guide your sales pitch.
You should be able to answer how your players and your brand can help move them closer to their business goals.
The goal here is to establish how you can help them. Everything should be outcome focused.
3. Describe Your Audience
Sponsors want to know you can reach their target audience and that you can do so with high volume. You must convince them that your audience is their dream audience.
Using a tool like Keyhole, you can pull your audience demographic data. Build a persona of one or two typical audience members, and back up those personas with hard data.
To take things to the next level, you can pull demographic data on the potential sponsor’s audience to illustrate the current gap that you fill.
For example, “You’re looking to grow your brand with the younger, Gen Z audience. Today, only 5% of your followers are under 25 years old. That’s where we can help you. 60% of our team’s social media audience is under the age of 25. They’re also predominantly male, at 75%, which is your core demographic.”
4. Gather Compelling Data
Now is the time to back everything up with data. Show off your impressions, reach, and engagement, detailing how many eyeballs see your content across every platform.
For example, “Our content receives 3,000,000 monthly impressions, with a reach of 500,000 people. Our content has an engagement rate of 50 engagements per post, showing that our audience interacts a lot with our content.”
You can take things over the top with audience sentiment data, and actual examples of your mentions.
“90% of posts about our brand are positive. Our audience most-often uses words like ‘awesome’, ‘amazing’, and ‘sick’ when talking about us.”
5. Tie Everything Back to Their Business Goals
In as much detail as possible, tie everything back to the brand’s return on investment.
The more proof you have that you can make an impact for your sponsors, the better.
If you’ve worked with other sponsors, show how you’ve grown their audience or increased their follower count.
For example, “Before our previous sponsorship with Lenovo, we had an overlap of only 100 followers with their brand. After a 6-month sponsorship with over 500,000 impressions on our sponsored content, we now have an overlap of 5,000 followers. Not only did we increase their reach, our sponsored links to their website generated over 50,000 page views and over $100,000 in direct sales.”
6. Make it Pretty
This is a true sales presentation, so make sure it looks like one.
Make sure to visualize your data: nobody wants to see flat numbers.
Create charts and infographics to highlight your most compelling data points.
End your presentation with a compelling call to action, and you’re good to go.
With this pitch deck in hand, you’ll be sure to land that esports sponsorship.
Case Study: How One of Our eSports Clients uses Keyhole
One of our eSports clients has a huge presence in the gaming world.
Since their founding in 2009, they’ve won six North American League of Legends Championship Series. This particular eSports league has players in League of Legends, Apex Legends, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros, Fortnite, and more.
As a collective of pro gamers, sponsorships are a big part of their income. Our client is currently sponsored by:
- Game Fuel
To land and keep major sponsors like these, they use Keyhole to track their social media analytics data.
Here’s how they do it:
Our client regularly reviews mentions and engagements to their team’s social media accounts to keep their finger on the pulse of their overall brand sentiment.
They also track relevant keywords and hashtags across social media tools, news sites, and forums. For example, they track branded keywords that are relevant to their league and their sponsors.
And they’re not just interested in volume, they want to know who’s talking about them and what they’re saying.
Having evidence for a sponsor that their team’s brand is highly regarded is a big plus.
Team Member Tracking
Our client also uses Keyhole to track their team members’ individual accounts—not to spy on them, but to track their engagement rates.
This helps them narrow down which team members are generating the most buzz for their brand.
They’re also invested in overall impressions and reach across all these accounts, because they can prove the total viewership of their audience to help secure even better sponsorships.
This client tracks over 250 influencers, grouped in Keyhole’s Influencer Management feature by category.
They typically use the Influencer Management feature to group each individual players’ social media accounts and aggregate the metrics across different platforms to paint a fuller picture of how each player contributes to our clients overall profile.
Grouping their influencers by category helps them aggregate metrics across different accounts and platforms, because their players are scattered across networks like Twitch, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
This is our clients’ most innovative use of Keyhole.
Not only do they track their own accounts, they also track their sponsor’s accounts, keywords, and hashtags. They monitor sponsors such as Lenovo, Geico, Gamefuel, and Grubhub to keep an eye on each sponsors’ account performance.
They can even track those brands’ other sponsorships. This allows them to measure their impact on their sponsor’s brands compared to their competitors, proving the ROI on their partnership.
Earn More Sponsorships with Keyhole
Using compelling data like impressions, reach, and engagement can help you land more esports sponsorships.
Keyhole can help you track, gather, and report on that data in a simple, yet meaningful way.
To unlock your social data, start your free Keyhole trial today.