Much has been reported about the lack of competitive sport during the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis and the gap this has left in broadcasters viewing schedules, betting company’s markets and fan’s lives. Prior to the pandemic, gaming and esports had already seen exponential growth in both participation and viewership globally. Now, not bound by the same restrictions as a traditional sport, the crisis has acted as an inadvertent catalyst for even faster growth and a broadening of the audience as both existing, and new, formats are served up for traditional sports fans hungry for competition and to be entertained. Nielsen’s LaLiga Santander Coronavirus Esports Challenge Report summarises the fan reach and engagement metrics and results achieved by one of the first esports competitions organised in response to the dearth of competitive play.
The LaLiga Santander Coronavirus Esports Challenge concept was conceived by Ibai Llanos, a top esports personality in Spain. In partnership with LaLiga and EA Sports, they created a FIFA 20 tournament featuring football players from 18 of the 20 La Liga clubs with the purpose of raising money for charities fighting the Covid-19 outbreak in Spain. An incredible €140,000 (£129,000) was generated.
A summary of the headlines from the LaLiga Santander Coronavirus Esports Challenge Report include:
- An average minute audience of 120,000 viewers was reported for the final weekend of the event
- The average minute audience peaked at 173,000 viewers during the final in which Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio beat Leganés player Aitor Ruibal
- Twitch broadcast over 14 hours of live competition play
- Spanish TV companies Movistar Deportes 1, Gol and #Vamos showed over 23 hours of content (cumulatively) from the competition, with 72% on Pay TV
- Over 1100 online articles mentioned the event from over 160 online outlets, 52% of which were sports-specific media
- 35,000+ twitter posts were related to the event
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