Facebook and Coca-Cola Ready for Esports Bar in Cannes
The second annual Esports Bar is slated to begin this week in Cannes. This year, executives from several non-endemic brands are expected to attend including Facebook, Renault, and Coca-Cola to explore sponsorships.
Coca-Cola's presence signals the vast sums of money that are pouring into esports this year, but in reality it is just one of many businesses trying to understand how to profit from the new industry. Potential sponsors will be picking up tips from game publishers, esports leagues, and a group of pro players who have managed to make a career out of gaming.
The first Esports Bar in Cannes was an invite-only networking event. Only high-level executives were invited to play, but the intended marketplace for esports deals was lacking. This year the event extended to include a conference. Panels and keynotes were added to foster debate and get newcomers up to speed with the issues the industry faces.
This year's event will also be far different from the first because of the incredible growth in esports during 2017. There are now over 300 established esports leagues, and the industry now accounts for over $5 billion in venture financing. The rate of private esports investment grew by 30 percent, topping that of the greater gaming industry.
One of the biggest questions investors and sponsors had last year was, “where are the viewers?” Recent broadcasting deals with big names like Facebook, Hulu, and Turner Sports now provide the answer. No longer is esports relegated to Twitch, but it holds down a presence on mainstream networks.