Two of the world's leading entertainment and brand agencies have opened an esports section.
World-renowned entertainment agency PMK•BNC and highly-decorated brand agency Momentum Worldwide have launched a collaborative esports and gaming practice.
Both companies are part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE: IPG), with operations in more than 40 countries around the globe.
Usually, these agencies work with Hollywood stars like Jessica Alba and billion-dollar companies such as American Express. Momentum's clients also include Facebook, Coca-Cola, Verizon, and Bentley Motors. PMK•BNC list entertainment stars like Cameron Diaz, Robert Redford, and Christina Aguilera on its books.
The new cross-agency effort promises to provide consultation services for brands interested in the world of gaming and esports, including the identification of sponsorship and marketing opportunities.
"The opportunity in gaming for brands is enormous," said Momentum CEO Chris Weil. "Bringing together the powerhouse consultation and brand experience expertise of Momentum, with the entertainment, PR, and years of deep gaming expertise of PMK•BNC, will help brands connect with fans and their passions."
The new practice launches following a research study by Momentum, titled "We Know Gamers," conducted in partnership Twitch. It aimed to illuminate the attitudes, behaviors, and interests of gamers and non-gamers, and the results have informed the establishment of this new practice.
"Brand spending in esports sponsorship is projected to grow 57 percent this year, reaching approximately $263 million, which shows both the increasing momentum in this space and also that it's still in its infancy, compared with sponsorship spend levels in traditional sports," said Michael Nyman, Chairman and CEO of PMK•BNC. "Gaming and gamers represent an underrepresented market clamoring for brands to come in and provide legitimacy and meaningful experiences."
Momentum executive Glenn Minerley, who leads the new practice, added that their research suggest that 81 percent of gamers say gaming will always be a part of their lives. "Our practice will dispel the misconceptions and help brands connect with this passionate and engaged population," Minerley said.
"From working directly with Esports teams and leagues, to game publishers and development studios, there are myriad ways for brands to create engaging experiences that add value to the gaming world and we're excited to help brands do just that," said PMK•BNC's Mark Van Lommel.
It will be interesting to see how well-suited a non-endemic agency is when it comes to consulting other non-endemic brands about the esports space. Obviously, both Momentum and PMK•BNC are highly experienced agencies, considered at the pinnacle of the industry when it comes to sponsorships, consulting, public relations, and more.
By the looks of it, the new practice is doing its homework, though. Both Momentum as well as PMK•BNC were represented at the Unlocked:Esports event at E3 which included a tour on Riot Games' campus and NA LCS studios.