There is no question, esports is a hot topic in iGaming. With esports betting set to hit record highs in 2020, revenues are predicted to double from $7 billion in 2019 to $14 billion according to research by Prodege. Whilst some of this growth can be attributed to the pause on global sports and the COVID-19 crisis, the popularity of esports is dominating iGaming growth and here to stay.
With regulated sports betting opening up in the US across multiple states, there is a massive opportunity to introduce esports betting markets in America as well. As an example, Nevada Gaming Control opened up the 2020 League of Legends European Championship, the North American League of Legends Championship Series, Call of Duty League and the Overwatch League to bettors. These betting market expansions will increase esports reach in new markets, engaging even more esports viewers who are interested in new betting opportunities and testing their own knowledge.
Esports betting is an emerging market and has distinct differences to the sports betting and casino space. At Digital Fuel Marketing, we manage the affiliate programme for esports betting giant Unikrn, as well as new pool-betting esports platform Puntt. Our affiliate team has shared their knowledge on how to recruit and manage esports affiliates.
The need to know for effective esports affiliate management:
1. Up your knowledge of esports
Don’t know your League of Legends from your Overwatch? Get familiar! For effective esports affiliate management, it is key to have good knowledge of esports, the games, the teams and the major tournaments. This will give affiliate managers the edge over other brands and helps when prospecting – as you will know the most popular and up to date affiliate websites.
2. Get involved in the esports community
As esports is a fairly new space, recruitment is trickier; many affiliate managers have years of experience and contacts in the online casino world but esports is a very niche market. This means finding out who owns all the latest and biggest sites can become tricky. For this reason, being actively involved in the esports space and within the community is essential for profitable affiliate recruitment and ongoing management.
3. Know your social messaging groups
Leading on from tip number 2, the esports affiliate recruitment process differs slightly from the usual procedure followed for sports betting and casino. Affiliates are a lot more active in the streaming space – think Twitch, Youtube and Facebook Gaming – and affiliate recruitment follows as such. Lots of conversations happen outside of the traditional forums and Facebook groups used for iGaming affiliates, with Telegram and Discord often preferred by esports affiliates and players. Getting to know the active groups within these messaging platforms is advantageous for affiliate managers to keep up to date with the latest developments in the esports space and new affiliates entering the space.
And a bonus message for those considering entering the esports affiliate space
If you’re an affiliate looking to get into the esports market, there is no better time. The esports affiliate market isn’t flooded like the casino and sports betting space, and therefore is still relatively easy to enter. If you are a gamer with a following on social media, or an iGaming affiliate looking to break into esports, it is a great time to start with low barriers to entry. Your esports affiliate proposition could be anything from sponsorship of your channel to exclusive welcome offers from an esports provider. Some esports sites, like Unikrn, are providing affiliates with daily and weekly esports betting tips.
Digital Fuel Marketing is here to help
With 30% of esports bettors having taken up their interest in wagering on esports since April 2020 and the number of esports viewers estimated to rise to 644 million worldwide by 2022 (a predicted increase of 190 million since 2019), there is huge potential in the gambling industry both for operators and affiliates.
The Digital Fuel Marketing affiliate team offer full-service esports affiliate management for your programme, and consultancy for operators and upcoming affiliates. Contact us today to see how we can help you and your business.