The Evolution of Esports Sponsorships: From Hyundai to Bugatti. Esports meets Automotive Brands.
The Evolution of Esports Sponsorships: From Hyundai to Bugatti. Esports meets Automotive Brands.

Automotive Brands in Esports: Sponsorship Market Evolution

Discover how automotive brands have seized their opportunities in the world of competitive gaming.


Karsten Schonauer
Creative Director
Insights / 2 Min.


In a world where the lines between reality and the virtual are blurring, one industry stands at the forefront of this digital revolution: esports. And in the heart of this rapidly growing world, one factor is increasingly being recognized as crucial – brand partnerships.


Accelerating into Esports

In recent years, automotive brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and KIA have increasingly ventured into the esports and gaming realm through strategic sponsorships. These partnerships serve as a gateway for automotive companies to tap into the rapidly growing esports market, which boasts a vast and highly engaged audience. By aligning themselves with prominent esports events and teams, these brands gain exposure to a demographic that is notoriously difficult to reach through traditional advertising channels. Moreover, esports sponsorships offer automotive brands an opportunity to associate their products with innovation, cutting-edge technology, and a forward-thinking mindset, characteristics that resonate well with the younger, tech-savvy demographic prevalent in the gaming community.


Esports Sponsorship Evolution: Automotive Brands


Revving Up the Game

Esports enthusiasts, often avid gamers and early adopters of technology, are receptive to brands that demonstrate a commitment to innovation and digital connectivity. For automotive companies, sponsoring esports events and teams allows them to showcase their latest technological advancements, such as electric vehicles, autonomous driving features, and in-car connectivity systems, to an audience that values innovation and technological prowess. Additionally, esports sponsorships provide brands with opportunities for creative engagement and brand integration, enabling them to connect with consumers in meaningful ways beyond traditional advertising formats. As such, sponsorships in esports represent not only a marketing strategy but also a valuable avenue for automotive brands to establish credibility, foster brand loyalty, and cultivate long-term relationships with the next generation of consumers.


Examples of Major Automotive Brand Sponsorship Moves:

Mercedes x ESL One Hamburg (2017):

Mercedes x ESL One Hamburg 2017

Image Credit: Esports Observer


KIA x League of Legends European Championship (2019):

KIA X LEC 2019

Image Credit: KIA


BMW x T1, G2 Esports, Cloud9, Fnatic, Funplus Phoenix (2020):

Esports Sponsorship Timeline

Image Credit: BMW Group


In conclusion, the fusion of automotive brands with the esports and gaming world exemplifies a mutually beneficial alliance. Beyond mere sponsorship, these automotive giants actively contribute to the flourishing esports ecosystem, becoming integral parts of its evolution and successes. Their ability to adapt to the shifting preferences and interests of the gaming audience highlights their essential role in the digital landscape. As automotive brands continue to revitalize the gaming experience with their innovation and technology, their presence in esports becomes increasingly indispensable. In this dynamic partnership, automotive brands and esports enthusiasts alike find themselves on a thrilling journey, driving towards new horizons of excitement and innovation.



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