Nielsen, a global performance management company, is launching an esports company. Nielsen Esports will provide sponsorship valuation and custom industry research to esports brands all over the world.
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In a press release citing the massive growth in esports over the last year, Nielsen Entertainment’s president Howard Applebaum says “There’s a high demand for reliable, independent measurement of value in esports. We’re excited to enhance our client offerings and provide the industry with solutions that will help guide and optimize investment decisions in this exciting, growing space.”
Research conducted by Nielsen suggests that playoff rounds of major esports tournaments so far this year “yielded anywhere from $75,000 to nearly $17 million in sponsorship value.” Other research, conducted on behalf of professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team Astralis, reveals that Audi, who sponsor the team, saw a 1000% return on the money they invested in the team during the Eleague Finals and DreamHack Las Vegas earlier this year.
As well as their continuing valuation work, Nielsen “has created an esports advisory board of industry stakeholders who will provide insight to help shape the future of esports audience measurement and valuation.” This board contains representatives from ESL, Activision Blizzard, Twitch, YouTube, ESPN, and FIFA, among others.
CEO of ESL North America, Craig Levine, says “we’re excited to partner with Nielsen and other industry leaders to guide the framework to measure esports sponsorships, shape the industry, and help further accelerate the esports industry overall.”