Nielsen last week announced the launch of Nielsen Esports, a new vertical devoted to measuring sponsorship value in the emerging world of competitive video gaming.
The business is centered on two product developments: new international viewer data in the U.K., France, Germany, China, South Korea and Japan, along with Esports 24, a database of esports events that can help customers quantify return on investment with standardized measurements.
“Clients are coming to us with these questions,” said Nicole Pike, vice president of Nielsen Games, who will co-lead the new vertical along with Stephen Master, managing director of Nielsen Sports North America.
Sponsorship value in esports is much more difficult to measure than traditional sports in several ways, Master said, because exclusive media rights are still rare, meaning that many events are viewed on a wide variety of streaming and linear channels. Also, the international nature of the fan base is harder to measure, and esports tournaments have a rich post-live value because esports players will redistribute clips from their matches on their own streams.
Master said the division has exceeded revenue generation expectations. Nielsen has convened an advisory board of esports industry leaders, from ESL, ESPN, Facebook, Activision Blizzard, Turner, Twitch and others.