Singapore – Mobile ad platform AdColony has announced that it has struck a sponsorship deal with the popular mobile game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang through a partnership with Mana, a Singapore-based gaming and esports brand consultancy firm.
The partnership entails AdColony to offer brands in Southeast Asia a streamlined approach to sponsorship and advertising in esports alongside their investment in gaming. In addition, brands who wish to amplify its presence with mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) esports can turn to AdColony as a one-stop shop, powered by its comprehensive expertise and offering in in-app advertising.
Furthermore, AdColony’s integrated advertising technology platform allows targeting and retargeting of consumers between esports and gaming properties, meaning brands can reach audiences at multiple different points of the marketing funnel, across different ad types and formats, even bringing e-commerce into play.
For Tom Simpson, SVP at AdColony APAC, their recent sponsorship deal will allow them to be “hyper-focused on connecting brands with consumers across gaming and esports”, noting that “this partnership is an important pillar for 2021.”
“Mobile Legends is one of the key games to unlock the esports market in Southeast Asia. This partnership with Moonton enables us to help brands interact more easily with the growing passionate and engaged mobile esports audience alongside their ongoing investments in broader gaming-focused advertising and communications,” Simpson said.
Such sponsorship deals speak to a larger demand brought by the esports industry nowadays. It is estimated that by 2023, it is expected that the number of frequent viewers of esports worldwide will hit almost 300 million, a vast increase from the 173 million in 2018. In addition, a report by consultancy firm McKinsey addresses the monetary growth in the esports industry as it has gone from $950 million in industry revenue in 2019 to an expected $1.1 billion after 2020.
AdColony notes that mobile tech and handset manufacturers, male grooming, soft drinks, and snacks are the most common and active brands in esports at the moment, and price wars have been prevalent in markets such as Vietnam and Indonesia for premium esports rights, as brands are willing to pay a premium to lock out their competitors for extended periods.
“AdColony aims to simplify this process of esports rights and sponsorships price discovery and sponsorship for brands,” Simpson said, noting that many of these esports sponsorship opportunities get locked out due to competition.
Esports tournaments are still in demand, and have migrated online due to the offset of last year’s pandemic. According to Moonton, the game developer behind Mobile Legends, viewership levels in 2020 have set a record level in Indonesia, peaking at over 2.8 million concurrent viewers with over 67 million hours watched in total. The Philippines MPL also reportedly had a peaked viewership of over 757,000 concurrent viewers and over 21 million total hours watched.
“This partnership with Moonton comes hot on the heels of the news that AdColony and Mana, the Singapore-based gaming and esports brand consultancy firm that connects brands with the gaming and esports industries, has teamed up to help brands simplify the way they can get involved in the global gaming and esports ecosystem”, commented Jamie Lewin from Mana.
In November 2020, AdColony also signed an exclusive partnership with global in-game advertising platform, Anzu, to offer Anzu’s market-leading blended in-game advertising solutions across both display and video to brands and agencies in Asia Pacific.