Mainstream Advertisers Drawn to eSports

More evidence that mainstream advertisers are catching onto eSports. And many of these are brands that normally advertise in mainstream sports.

Sarah Needleman reports in the Wall Street Journal that “Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. will be one of three initial sponsors when Time Warner Inc.’s TBS begins broadcasting videogame competitions on Friday. The restaurant chain expects to spend roughly $5 million this year on ‘e-sports’ and other videogame-related marketing.”

Said Arby’s Marketing Chief Rob Lynch: “This is where the future is.”

In addition, WSJ says that “Anheuser-Busch InBev NV plans to promote its Bud Light brand at tournaments this year. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Geico unit sponsors two pro teams and expects to organize a half-dozen competitions this year.”

Adds Bob Ruhland, head of marketing for Buffalo Wild Wings Inc.: “As a marketer, we would be foolish to turn a deaf ear to the size of the audience.”

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