Big-Time Gamers Get Big-Time Sponsors

    September 21, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The professional gaming circuit, and yes there is one, will see some groups get sponsorship deals.

The maker of Band-Aids meets the world of virtual fragging, as GameDaily reports serious corporate sponsors like Johnson and Johnson get involved in competitive gaming. Next time someone buys some Tylenol to soothe the pain of carpal tunnel, a bit of the profits will find their way into the pockets of some pro gaming groups.

Although tech firms like Intel have long recognized the benefit of placing their brands in view of hordes of gamers, most of corporate America hasn’t bought in yet. MSNBC cites one person who sponsors two gaming teams in assessing the situation:

“Corporations are dropping hundreds of millions of dollars on a TV ad, and kids don’t even watch TV. They’re missing this demographic,” said Atlanta real estate lawyer Jason Lake.

Counter Strike players on the Ouch! team received sponsorship from Tylenol maker McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, a J&J subsidiary. McNeil will be the first US non-tech company to conduct such a sponsorship. Financial details have not been disclosed.

Sponsor deals have been more common in Europe, and even more so in Asia. Burger King has been a sponsor of games in Germany, according to In Asia, it’s an entirely different world. South Korea has three 24-hour cable channels devoted to gaming, and top players get rock star treatment.

It isn’t clear how McNeil will assess the effectiveness of the sponsorship. If they can demonstrate even a modest return on targeting the always-coveted 18-24 male demographic, other corporations will develop deals themselves.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.