Embracing fans a winner for brands
E-sports fans and sports audiences who tend to have a substantial income and a positive attitude towards brands that support events could serve as a promising target for brands, says market research firm Nielsen.
E-sports fans in Thailand spend an average of 13 hours a week devoted to gaming and e-sports content. There are 43 million people who watch sports events in the country, the firm said.
Runchita Srivoravilai, director of Nielsen Thailand, said sports viewership in Thailand continues to grow.
"It is crucial for brands and media agencies to know where, how and what these consumers are viewing so they can find a way to reach and maintain relationships with them," she said.
According to Nielsen, 20 million Thai people headed to sports events over the past 12 months.
In a survey, 43% of Thai respondents said they are very interested in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games scheduled to take place in Japan later this month, exceeding the level of interest in Indonesia (39%) and the US (37%).
In Thailand, the respondents who are very interested in viewing the Olympic Games have an income of 60,000 baht per month. Some US$9.65 billion was spent on sports sponsorship in Asia in 2018.
According to Ms Runchita, 65% of the Thai respondents agreed that sports sponsorship by brands creates positive attitudes towards them, which means that the resumption of sports events would be a lucrative opportunity for brands to tap into.
Most Thai sports fans are male with middle and upper incomes who reside in the Greater Bangkok area. The sports they prefer are football, volleyball and badminton.
TV is the main platform through which sports audiences view games (74%), followed by social media (69%).
A gamer plays a sports game at an AIS e-sports studio. Nielsen says e-sports fans in Thailand spend an average of 13 hours a week devoted to gaming and e-sports content.
Regarding the e-sports audience, YouTube is the main platform for viewership (77%), followed by Twitch (48%), Facebook (16%), Mixer (12%) and Garena Live (11%). Some 65% of e-sports fans in Thailand are male with an average age of 27, said Ms Runchita.
The average monthly household income of e-sports fans is 45,188 baht. Some 54% of e-sports fans are university graduates and 27% are married.
Almost 88% of Thai e-sports fans play games via mobile devices, 45% via console equipment and 54% via PC.
E-sports fans spend eight hours a week playing games and five hours a week consuming e-sports content.
"During the economic woes, brands may keep their budget tight, but Nielsen thinks brands should continue to spend with precise and careful approaches rather than doing nothing, particularly on sports and e-sports events as their rivals could gain recognition from doing so," said Ms Runchita.