Activation Case Study: ESI Sumut Ramadhan Online Tournament

3 min read

The year 2020 has shown itself as the prominent period to witness rise of esports, especially during the pandemic moment. Unlike traditional sports, the whole activity of esports remain unaffected by the health crisis situation, as esports could easily adapt into the online environment. This phenomenon has brought many attention to the esports industry as an instrument of online marketing activation.

In April 23rd, we ran a project called ESI Sumut Ramadhan Online Tournament, where it was designed for national-scale participants to #playfromhome. This project was initiated by ESI (Esports Indonesia) Sumut, a governmental organization that serves to focus on the domestic development of esports.

The tournament lasted for the whole Ramadhan month and featured 2 popular mobile esports title: Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), and Free Fire. The tournament was divided into 4 phases, where the winner of 3 qualification phases of the tournament will proceed into the final phase.

Participation-wise, the tournament successfully highlighted the performance of both the amateur, semi-professional, and professional teams on a live stream in YouTube. With 174 teams participating in Free Fire, and 110 teams in MLBB, the competition result has gone unpredictable, especially when there are many underdogs team who could outplay the more experienced teams.

The first day of the tournament began on April 24th at 2.30 PM, and this schedule was repeated throughout the whole competition. Each live streams started with a 10 minutes opening countdown to welcoming the tournament hosts, then followed by video displays of several public figures in giving encouragement to the participants before the first match began.

When the first match had ended, the live stream would return to the break session and featured another sponsored videos. Then, the hosts (the shoutcasters) would return to the screen, where they mentioned verbally our partners who participate in making this event a success.

Activation-wise, there are many commercial opportunities in the live stream, starting from the tournament name, which significantly highlights the brand of ESI Sumut to the whole audiences; the break session which consisted of running text, logo placement, ad-lips, and video profile display; in-game screen that amplifies the brand’s persona with matching skins, floating ad-boxes, and another running texts.

As for the break session, the ad-lips were utilized to have the hosts to create interactions with the audiences by having quizzes with gifts.

ESI Sumut 2020 Infographics

How did ESI Sumut Ramadhan Online Tournamen perform?

Before the tournament started, we did media planning and selecting several media partners who can contribute to the success of this project. Throughout the event, we were supported by notable national esports and also lifestyle media, i.e. Esportsnesia, GGWP, SIAR, INDOESPORTS, METACO and GCUBE.

Press releases were published and distributed every week to keep the excitement of both the participants and the audiences, starting from the registration period, weekly progress announcement, to the event afterglow. Not to mention the banner placement on media, and also daily update of the tournament on social media posts.

Proceeding into the event day, we have collected, compiled, and extracted the insights from the viewership analytics. Here are the key figures for the 23 days of ESI Sumut Ramadhan Online Tournament live streaming.

  • Total Views : 92,975
  • Average Views : 4,042
  • Highest View : 14,054
  • Average Watch Time (Hours) : 417
  • Highest Watch Time (Hours) : 2,500
  • Average Concurrent Viewers : 159
  • Highest Concurrent Viewers : 663
  • Average View Duration : 5 minutes 46 seconds
  • Highest View Duration : 10 minutes 51 seconds
  • Average Unique Viewer : 2,147
  • Highest Unique Viewer : 6,600

As for the audience demographics, gender-wise, the whole event was dominated by male audiences, which always reach up to more than 90%.

On the other side, we found a wide range of age groups among the audiences, from the youngest of age 13, to the oldest group at age 65+.

  • Average % of 13-17 years old : 49%
  • Average % of 18-24 years old : 33%
  • Average % of 25-34 years old : 91%
  • Average % of 35-44 years old : 69%
  • Average % of 45-54 years old : 308%
  • Average % of 55-64 years old : 0,008%
  • Average % of 65+ years old : 24%

It can be concurred that the highest viewership come from the 18-24 years old group, which consists of young adults who have just finished high school, university students, or even fresh graduates. It is also important to address the presence of other age groups.

For both the younger group at 13-17 years old and the slightly older group at 25-34 years old, though their numbers combined could yet to exceed the figures of the 18-24 years group, the actual numbers still count to significant 30,123 views.

The tournament ran from Monday to Saturday, leaving Sunday away from the schedule. Although it was a popular belief that high number of audiences mostly come during the weekend, we found this to be not entirely true, for the highest viewership was detected on Thursday (Day 18 of the tournament).

Figure 1 Day 1 of the tournament
Figure 1 Day 1 of the tournament

Another point worth noticing is that even though a live stream has ended, there was still a visit of views on the days after and the weeks after.

Given by the performance of this activation, there are indeed several improvements that could be made on the next project.

On the first week, there were barely professional teams participating as many of them started appearing on the second week of the tournament. The professional teams contribute to achieving high viewership, as they are promoting their show to their loyal fans groups through their social media account. The impact could be multiplied when there are many teams with high numbers of fans participating.

Overall, the tournament ran successfully and leaves a strong brand presence behind on ESI Sumut.