QSRs Invest in Esports (Infographic)

More than 30 QSR brands have nearly three Esports sponsorship deals on average, while 10 have five or more, according to SponsorUnited’s a “QSR and Esports Sponsorship Snapshot.” The report notes that as Esports popularity grows, QSR brands are investing in the space through sponsorships. For the report, SponsorUnited's platform identified 47 active QSR brands buying sponsorships or media.

“As the fandom in Esports continues to grow, QSR brands have been leaders in sponsoring teams, organizations and influencers,” said Michelle Harmon-Madsen, CMO, SponsorUnited. “We expect the sponsorship market for esports to continue to grow, and significantly so, moving forward.”

The top-five brands ranked by number of deals are: 

  • McDonald’s (10+ deals) 
  • KFC (8+ deals) 
  • Subway (8+ deals) 
  • Chipotle (5+ deals) 
  • Jack-in-the-Box (5+ deals) 

McDonald’s also ranks No. 1 in sponsorship growth, having more than 10 new deals with Esports properties–mainly teams and leagues–over the last 12 months. In June, multinational Esports organization Gen.G and McDonald’s renewed their McDonald’s Crew League partnership, designed to recruit and retain employees through gaming. 

Other recent link-ups include Chipotle’s April collaboration with gaming influencer Karl Jacobs, to promote the launch of its new pollo asado chicken menu item with a limited-time “Karl Jacobs Burrito.”  Papa Johns partnered with Esports tournament operator Beyond the Summit (BTS) in May to launch a Super Smash Bros-centered community campaign.

Additionally, SponsorUnited found that QSR brands and Esports organizations utilize social media posts in more than 85 percent of deals. Out of the top-five emerging assets, Twitter reigns supreme: images, videos and text posts on the channel take the first, fourth and fifth spots, respectively.  In total on social media, there are currently 1,100-plus branded posts across more than 130 deals. The most-engaged post–at more than 600,000 followers–was between Karl Jacobs and Chipotle. Engagement totals more than 3.5 million across all social posts, with the average engagement per deal just north of 28,000.