ESL achieved great success with Gleam when they drove over 2 million actions in a single week at the 2016 ESL CS:GO tournament in Cologne.
We’ve seen a phenomenal rise in the number of eSports campaigns being run on the Gleam platform over the last several years.
Ranging from teams, streamers and tournament holders through to hardware manufacturers, software and events management.
Every once in a while, a campaign comes along that just blows everything else you’ve ever seen before out of the water.
That happened a few months ago, during the ESL’s $1M prize pool Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament in Cologne.
16 of the world’s best teams arrived at the LANXESS arena to go head to head in a battle of strategy, reflexes and skill.
ESL has a number of goals with their campaigns, the first is to drive awareness of the event to promote ticket sales. This typically happens during the months in the lead-up to the event and during any qualifying stages.
The magic happens during the event itself, you can see how ESL promotes a global event raffle with gear from all their sponsors as an ad on Stream.
Check out the first few seconds of this replay:
The campaign is promoted mainly during the show itself. The majority of the promotion happens during commercial breaks where a screen promoting the giveaway is displayed in the pause. It is usually part of a rotation of other graphics with e.g. tournament information and brackets.
Campaigns run during events are typically quite short, this one clocked in at roughly ~7 days. But you can see right away a few statistics that are quite amazing.
What can other eSports businesses learn from the way ESL successfully run their events?
If you’re running a campaign at an event you absolutely must have a memorable URL for attendees to easily type into their devices or remember.
ESL uses the same consistent URL: https://eslone.com/raffle
Which redirects users to the Gleam hosted landing page.
ESL made the smart move of getting all of their core sponsors involved in the campaign. They had a huge pool of prizes from:
This essentially helped them increase their prize pool by 1000%, which in turn makes the entire campaign more appealing to entrants.
Not only that, but the entire campaign helps ESL promote their events and also gives the sponsors a huge boost that they wouldn’t normally have had through normal sponsorship channels.
The average sponsor in this campaign achieved a social following increase of 130k+ users. That’s the sort of increase that can take years to achieve in the real world.
In the case of Cologne, we were interested in a CS:GO interested audience and not just in people who want to win amazing hardware (pretty much anyone). Hence we restrict our advertisement of the giveaway to the show itself to better target that exact audience. As the shows have a lot of concurrent audience, it can happen that 400k-800k people are watching when a raffle is displayed. Even a small percentage of conversion will result in huge participation.
ESL events have a mere minuscule attendance compared to the amount of viewers around the world that watch via Twitch or other streaming channels.
I think it’s always extremely important that when you are making a giveaway you know beforehand what you are trying to achieve with it, who your target audience is and how you are looking to reach them. It’s only then that you can start thinking of mechanics or innovative ways to reach people.
The Gleam campaign helps ESL to not only engage these users, but convert them from casual viewers to engaged brand followers across many different channels.
When you have a busy schedule of events throughout the year, you can start to leverage the attendance (and hype) of the current event to start selling tickets (or generating pre-sale interest) for the next one.
ESL places these actions at the top of every campaign:
They also use this space to drive users at the event to their online shop, where they can buy merchandise and have it shipped to them directly. Fantastic for those that hate waiting around in store queues at the event, or for users that aren’t physically attending.
When you think about how Sponsors typically get exposure at an event it can usually be:
However, with giveaways you increase the reach and value for every single sponsor exponentially: