Talent managers venture into the game arena to train stars

With professional gamers and content creators attracting millions of subscribers on YouTube and Instagram, marketing agencies are trying to groom them, grow their brand, and pitch them to businesses for paid collaborations that can generate fees. order of 5 lakh to 50 lakh. Partnerships of more than one year can go up to 1 crore.

A large number of game influencers, mostly between the ages of 18 and 30, are professional gamers of esports game titles like Free Fire, Call of Duty, as well as strategy games like DOTA. They often broadcast their matches live on YouTube while interacting with fans through the comments section. A set of influencers are also content creators who share the latest updates on game titles and tournaments.

India is one of the top five mobile gaming markets in the world, with a 13% share of global gaming sessions, and is expected to add 40 million online gamers in 2020-22, making it lucrative for many. many companies.

“Game influencers need the right kind of push in terms of branding and promotions, in order for sponsorship opportunities to come to them. We decided to start collaborations with celebrities from Bollywood and cricket to bring attention to online gaming players, ”said Pranav Panpalia, an influencer turned entrepreneur who founded influencer marketing platform OpraahFx.

He works with 10 gaming influencers, including Total Gaming, MythPat, Techno Gamerz, SlayyPoint, and Jatt Prabjot. In 2020, Panpalia launched OP Gaming to provide end-to-end gaming services and help businesses launch games through influencer marketing.

“We work with game influencers to help them create brand-safe content that is non-abusive and non-partisan in nature. We are constantly on the lookout for young YouTuber game makers who have the potential to grow up so we can train them from a young age, ”added Panpalia.

The majority of branded offerings for gaming influencers come from gaming platforms like Mobile Premier League or tech companies like Asus, HP India, Lenskart, Vedantu, and OnePlus. However, new categories such as fashion / lifestyle, video streaming, telecommunications, grooming, and even food and drink have started to heat up for gaming influencers with brands such as P&G-owned Gilette. , Disney + Hotstar, Vodafone Idea and D2C beauty brand Mamaearth testing the waters. .

In October, Reebok partnered with the creators of the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla video game franchise to create an all-new collection, featuring Assassin-branded shoes, clothing and accessories. In India, they worked with Mumbai-based YouTuber Mithilesh Patankar, 23, aka Mythpat, to promote the collection on Instagram.

While the main fan base of gaming influencers is often GenZ aged 13-24, lockdowns caused by a pandemic have also brought young professionals into the fold of online gaming. “Game influencers’ content engagement rates are also extremely high compared to a lifestyle / comedy influencer. Game content lasts longer, between 20 and 60 minutes, but fans are committed to it, ”said Abhishek Aggarwal, co-founder of Trinity Gaming, a talent management company that manages 250 content creators in the industry. play space.

Launched in November 2020, the ClanConnect influencer marketing platform, which serves as a bridge between influencers (with over 1,000 subscribers) and marketers, aims to help brands connect with small and future influencers. games in cities. The platform aims to help more than 200 creators of game content on its platform to be discovered by brands.

“There are at least 500,000 creators (with 10,000 to 100,000 followers) in all genres that are not discovered by brands and are not represented by any agency. We provide them with tools to improve productivity, plan content and even increase invoices. It gives them the opportunity to turn their passion into a career opportunity, ”said Kunal Kishore Sinha, Co-Founder of ClanConnect.

A bunch of game streaming platforms like Loco and Rooter are also helping new gaming talent to be discovered and gain subscribers. Rooter, for example, launched a game streaming feature in March 2020 and now has nearly 8 million monthly active users who attend 100,000 daily game streams. It broke the monopoly of YouTube, which has the best gaming streamers with millions of subscribers.

“Based on their success, many online gamers have become streamers. YouTube doesn’t pay players with a small subscriber base, but we do. Anyone who can stream for 50 hours on Rooter qualifies for our authoring program. They are trained, equipped with tools and remunerated according to their performance and their rate of engagement. The program is monetized through branded offerings. We have 30,000 of these great streamers, and our goal is to reach a million streamers in 12 months, ”said Piyush Kumar, Founder and CEO of Rooter Sports.

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