ABSRJ 2021 Volume 12, Number 1

A framework of how sponsoring esports benefits brand image

Bruno Duarte Abreu Freitas
Universitat de Vic – Universitat Central de Catalunya, Spain
brunoduarte.abreu@uvic.cat

Ruth Sofia Contreras-Espinosa
Universitat de Vic – Universitat Central de Catalunya, Spain
ruth.contreras@uvic.cat

Pedro Álvaro Pere
Universidade da Madeira, Portugal
pacorreia@staff.uma.pt

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to identify the elements that facilitate or lead brands to acquire an improved brand image as a result of sponsoring esports. A conceptual framework was created and then improved by empirical data. This exploratory and quantitative research analysed 1,611 esports fans who were sampled through a non-probability purposive heterogeneous method. Empirical data was gathered through an online and closed-ended survey. Data showed that esports sponsorships provide seven main elements that benefit the sponsors’ brand image. The field of esports sponsorships has been largely ignored by academia. Hence, this research provides the first step in better understanding the benefits of sponsoring esports and creates a foundation for future studies to base themselves on. Knowing the main brand image-related benefits of sponsoring esports will promote the confidence of brands that are still reluctant about entering this new market.

Keywords: esports; sponsorship; brand image; marketing; branding

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