Total gaming

Scheduling a big sports event during an ongoing football world cup might seem a bit risky – but not when the event in question is about esports. Early in July the ESL One Series made it’s planned appearance in Cologne and crammed the Lanxess-Arena up to the last seat. Also present: Sponsor and logistics partner DHL. When split-seconds are a decisive factor with regard to winning or losing, 15,000 spectators watch the proceedings in a large arena as if under a spell, and the players are rooted to their seats regardless of their surroundings, than in all probability an esports tournament is in full swing. These video game championships are popular among digital natives and are registering a rapid increase in spectator numbers. 2018, an estimated 380 million fans will follow the different competitions. Early in July, the third tournament of the current season of the “ESL One Series” took the competitors in the discipline “Global Offensive (CS:GO)”  to the sold out Cologne Lanxess Arena. ESL as the host is the world’s largest organizer of epsorts tournaments and leagues. The company arranges a large number of high profile international and national events, besides the ESL One for example the Intel® Extreme Masters or the ESL National Championships, as well as being rather active on the amateur levels.

A big effort

150 Maxnomic-Gaming-Seats were brought into the Cologne Lanxess-Arena by the DHL staff. [Photo: DHL]
150 Maxnomic-Gaming-Seats were brought into the Cologne Lanxess-Arena by the DHL staff. [Photo: DHL]

Even if the competitions themselves take place in a virtual world, behind every tournament of the ESL One a considerable logistical effort is required. Since the beginning of the current season DHL as the official logistics partner is assuming responsibility for this task. And the numbers are impressive: More than 100 tons of materials have to be transported to the venue in Cologne. Among other things this includes 300 big displays, 200 computer screens  and 150 Maxnomic-Gaming-Chairs. While executing this duty DHL can rely on it’s decenniums of experience in event logistics. “Every event, every freight shipment and every location has its own individual demands and requirements to which the respective logistics must be precisely tailored,” says Vincenzo Scrudato, Managing Director, DHL Trade Fairs & Events. “All the logistics components need to fit right down to the last detail – from A for air freight to Z for zero defects.”Ahead of the stopover in Cologne, the ESL One has already been entertained by Birmingham and Belo Horizonte in Brasil. Upcoming venues are New York in September and at last Hamburg, Germany, during October.

Young target group

Demographical data on the target group of the new trend esports [Graph: DHL]
Demographical data on the target group of the new trend esports [Graph: DHL]

The market entry in the future-promising esports sector is by no means a happenstance. DHL is consciously getting active within a market comprising mostly young people. More than 60 percent of all spectators are between 16 and 35 years of age. “In esports, we can reach this important target group with the DHL brand on an emotional level, and with content and formats that are tailored precisely to their interests and their media usage patterns,” says Arjan Sissing, Head of Corporate Brand Marketing at Deutsche Post DHL Group. “We are delighted to have found a partner in ESL that is one of the leading players in the international esports business. Through our partnership we intend to create unique moments that bring people together.” Already back in March 2018 DHL announced its official partnership with the Formula 1 esports Series, making its debut into the new trend sports sector. DHL banner advertising will be visible in the soccer simulation video game FIFA 18 as part of its partnership with FC Bayern Munich.

Author: Sonja Terbrüggen

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