Brands are eyeing youth connect through influencer marketing deals with gamers

As big brands explore influencer marketing, gaming and streaming players are hopeful of more collaborations, sponsorships and content integrations which will further escalate the growth of the community in India

Shreya Negi
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With the surge of gaming and content creators in today’s digital-first world, big brands are leveraging them to target youth and ensuring they form deeper connections. As per industry players, this is not going to be a short-lived trend and in the days ahead the market is only going to get bigger.

Brands like Gillette, OnePlus, Red Bull, Asus, Dell, Intel, Airtel, Jio, Network 18, India Today Group, Star Sports and the latest entrant - Tata Play, the gaming category has attracted several brands in terms of collaborations and sponsorships along with exclusive rights to air certain esports tournaments or contests for Battle Ground Mobile India, Free Fire, FIFA, Valorant and Counter Strike, amongst many others.

Abhishek Agarwal

According to Abhishek Agarwal, Co-founder, Trinity Gaming, “Esports is expanding at a startling rate that doesn't appear to be slowing down. We may anticipate even more investment in the sector in the years to come, as well as a rise in participation and viewership which has caught the attention of big brands and will further lead to expanded growth of the community.”

Agarwal also went on to state that it is due to the increasing popularity of content creators and gaming influencers that the youth is getting inspired and trying out their luck in the gaming community which has led to an increase in the audience of both gaming and technology.

“As gaming caters to the youth majorly, it makes them the perfect target audience for major brands. Due to the streamers and broadcasters, brands are getting deeper access to the community and they are getting a chance to access the gaming industry under the umbrella of influencer marketing,” he added.

Pratik Jogiya

Speaking about the collaborations that are happening between gaming creators and broadcasters, Pratik Jogiya, popularly known as Alpha Clasher, who currently has a YouTube subscriber base of 1.7 million, said, “To be very honest, for me, this is just the teaser and there's a lot more to come. Gradually, brands have started understanding the importance of the gaming community and the numbers it can generate.”

Alpha Clasher also went on to add that it was because of his gaming streaming that his communication skills and confidence have been boosted.

Rishabh Verma

Additionally, Rishabh Verma, a.k.a Antaryami Gaming, who as of now has a subscriber base of 4.03 million on YouTube, said, “To me, brand collaborations, sponsorships, content integration, etc. are effective ways for earning money as the future of gaming streaming in India is very bright as gaming streamers are paid well when they gain high reach and audience.”

Commenting on what made Trinity Gaming collaborate their creators with broadcasters or platforms for marketing, Agarwal said, “We are all aware that there has been an increase in the influencer marketing sector and gaming influencers are a major part of it. Since the concept of streaming and broadcasting enables the community to connect on a deeper level, today’s streamers or broadcasters can always turn into the most loved influencers and that's what we are working for.”

As per Agarwal, the modern audiences are looking for engaging and fun content and if one can make the creators collaborate with each other, it will not only grow the creators in terms of shared engagement, but will also help in building an engaging community, leading to business profits in terms of popularity and content. 

Upon being asked about some of the challenges faced by gaming streamers, Antaryami Gaming said, “When starting a career in gaming, the most important thing that a gamer needs is a good and high-end device which is a major challenge. With a good device, proper facilities, and a platform, being consistent and unique towards their goals and content, one can maintain a balance.”

However, Alpha Clasher presented a different view and said that the major challenge with gaming streaming is to strike the right balance between work-time, family time and me-time as social media can be a little harsh sometimes.

When asked about how Trinity Gaming takes care of its advertising, Agarwal said, “We are a talent management agency and are primarily focussed on the professional growth of our content creators as well as the community. We believe in advertising ourselves through our actions and contributions to the community.”

Speaking on the future of gaming and esports in the country, Agarwal also mentioned that being the advocates and supporters of the Indian gaming community, Trinity Gaming views gaming and esports in the same way as traditional sports.

“We anticipate that esports content creators will advance to the same level as traditional athletes who have a huge social influence,” he said.

Striking a reminiscing note as to how he got into gaming, Alpha Clasher said, “I played Clash Royale By SuperCell just for fun and slowly got better at the game, to an extent that I ranked in the top 5 on the Indian Leaderboard and won multiple offline Clash Royale tournaments during my college days. But winning games and getting more popular in the gaming sphere sure seemed to be very fascinating to me.”

“One day, a friend remarked that since people loved my gameplay, I should try my hand at filming strategic videos on YouTube and that's when I started creating content on YouTube. Soon, a new Battle Royale Game called PUBG Mobile was launched and I started practising strategic moves to better my game. Then, I saw Dynamo Gaming and Shreemaan Legend play PUBGM on live stream, which to me, felt very engaging and new. So, I started noting down all the things I needed to stream and that’s how I became a streamer,” he added.

On the contrary, Antaryami Gaming stated that he started gaming and esports out of his love for playing games since childhood. “Having a dream of becoming a YouTuber, gaming was the best field for me to choose and gaming made me a self-dependent man. I had my ups and downs, but at the end of the day, my gaming journey made me realise the importance of acceptance and learning new things.”

Furthermore, commenting on what had led to the rise of gaming streaming in the country, Agarwal pegged the industry growth as a result of the increased awareness. The web and mobile gaming sectors have experienced remarkable development in terms of content consumption and utility over the past few years, especially during the pandemic, he said.

He also went on to state that gaming was previously only perceived as a pastime and not a viable option for a career, but the approach has changed over time as more people in the community have begun to recognize the best routes to a successful career in gaming, including young people from India's Tier II and Tier III cities.

Moreover, Agarwal also highlighted that gamers might enjoy great gaming experiences anytime and anywhere on their devices with the introduction of 5G technology and would not have to spend big bucks on the gaming hardware.

“By bridging the gap between the mobile and traditional gaming markets, 5G-enabled seamless internet access may enable more people to participate in both competitive and community-sourced gaming,” he said.

influencer marketing brands Trinity Gaming Gaming Esports esports tournaments gaming streaming Antaryami Gaming Alpha Clasher Abhishek Agarwal gaming collaborations