Youth marketing strategies require a keen awareness of market trends. With a majority of college students playing video games regularly (70%), new student marketing possibilities abound.
In just a few decades, e-sports (competitive, multiplayer video gaming) has gone from informal gatherings at arcades to a vast international scene with corporate sponsors like Intel, Dell, and MSI—companies that have already taken advantage of the youth marketing opportunity created by such prevalent video gaming. College students comprise a significant portion of the gamer community and hence represent a potentially lucrative college advertising demographic. Consider the following:
- American youths average 11 hours of video game use per week.
- 70% of American college students play at least once in a while, with half of those playing so much that it interferes with studies “some” to “a lot.”
- “Extreme gamers”—approximately 4% of the U.S. gaming population—play for an average of 48.5 hours per week. 
So, given that students spend much of their free time playing video games, how do we develop a college marketing strategy to exploit this?
Depending on the game, there are a number of different opportunities for youth marketing. I’ll address some in this installment and some in the next one.
Youth Marketing Strategies Involving Pro Sponsorship and Broadcasts
As with traditional sports, e-sports communities have professional players that compete in national and international tournaments attended by thousands of people and viewed online by even more (many of whom are college students). Teams receive varying levels of corporate sponsorship, allowing pros to play the game as a job in exchange for promotion of the company’s products.
Sponsorship represents one possible avenue for student advertising. Because fans idolize these players, there is an added personal incentive to buy the products.
During practice, pros often stream their games live on the Internet through broadcasting services like TwitchTV and Own3dTV. Top players, whatever the time of day or night, often attract anywhere from 2,000 to 25,000 viewers. These broadcaster programs allow pros to display video ads between games, generating extra revenue for their team.
Buying ad space on these streams is another way to advertise to students in a context they’re familiar with and enjoy.
I will continue discussing youth marketing strategies surrounding e-sports in my next installment.
 Read more: Jane Weaver’s “College Students Are Avid Gamers.”