eSports vs Traditional Sports advertising ROI comparison

eSports viewership is ramping up rapidly year-on year. MLG reports going from 3.5 million viewers to 11.7 million viewers from 2011 to 2012 in a single year1. 4.5 million Unique viewers were present to watch that week-end of glory featuring both the Starcraft World Championship Series and DotA 2’s 2013 International2, with a viewership clearly centred on the 18-24 male demographic which is quite high in demand by advertisers3.


A prediction: the advertisement groups will catch-up to the online viewership and eSports are in prime position to enjoy the benefits. Younger generations consume less and less traditional media (this article should give you good insight as to why: Advertisers, if they haven’t already, will be targeting much more heavily these mediums as they become more popular over time. Traditional sports will remain popular but will simply change where they are broadcast – instead of just being on television, they will go online and advertisers with them.

For advertisers, here are your costs per viewer and total viewership numbers for some marquee sporting events (these are averages and as such should be taken with several grains of salt, along with these being very US focused):

Game (Event)


Cost of Advertisement per 1000 Users for a 30 second advert

NFL (Super Bowl)

111 million


MLB (All-Star Game)

11.0 Million


NBA (Finals)

26.3 Million


eSports  (Dota 2 + Starcraft II week-end)

4.5 Million



Cost of a 30 second advert per marquee event from selected Sports.

Mind Sports (International) Ltd. Unit 9, Bowker House, Ivybridge, Devon, England, PL21 9EF
T. +44 (0)1752 907026 | E. | Contact (9am-5pm GMT, Mon-Fri)

Registered in England and Wales. No. 8099257