ESL and Dreamhack team with Nielsen for esports measurement

Esports continues to grow, but for many brands, there's concern about valuations and ROI. Nielsen is aiming to deliver comprehensive measurement for the space.

Nielsen and MTG, the parent company of esports organizer ESL and esports production company DreamHack, have both entered into a new agreement that will help measure “further advancements” with esports metrics, the two companies have announced.

The agreement will see the companies work together to help progress “research standards” within esports using four metrics, according to the press release announcing the news:

  • Brand Impact: Holistic assessment of ESL and DreamHack brand partnerships, identifying and tracking brand partnership assets and impacts on audiences
  • Media & Sponsor Valuation: Measurement and tracking of media value for brand and media partners
  • Consumer Analytics: Esports audience research programs delivering quantitative consumer insights and analytics
  • Utilizing standardized metrics for esports viewership measurement and benchmarking

The new deal will also allow ESL and DreamHack to report on a regular basis financial valuations to advertisers and brand partners based on metrics provided through Nielsen’s Quality Index (QI), as well as work on “credible benchmarking” with other esports and traditional sports.

The ESL Pro Tour, the esports circuit of events from ESL and DreamHack surrounding Valve’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, will also see Nielsen provide “in-depth measurement”.

“Standardized reliable data measured by an independent company like Nielsen is something that has been widely requested from brand partners, advertisers and broadcasters as we have worked to increase monetization of media and sponsorship rights in esports,” said MTG president and CEO Jørgen Madsen Lindemann.

“This exciting new agreement represents an important step to lowering the threshold for media buyers and sponsors to fully commit their investments to esports, for instance via the introduction of KPI’s like Average Minute Audience (AMA), something that traditional sports have provided for years.”

Added managing director of esports at Nielsen, Nicole Pike: “Sponsors and advertisers can understand and confidently transact upon the global brand exposure metrics we are providing to ESL and DreamHack. We are pleased that MTG, ESL and DreamHack have placed their trust in Nielsen and is helping us lead efforts in supporting industry-wide standards for reporting viewership and media value.”

The new partnership between Nielsen, ESL, and Dreamhack could prove not only how successful esports is to a wider audience beyond the bigger esports events and leagues that already cater to fans of big games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, League of Legends, or Dota, but also provide metrics that could help bring more popular brands to it. And that could help lead to more eyes on esports as a whole. The ESL partnership comes hot on the heels of Nielsen teaming with Riot Games this June to track sponsorships in League of Legends.

We’ve asked Nielsen for more details on the announcement and will update when we hear back.

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Johnny Cullen is a freelance writer and author from Derry, Northern Ireland who has written for Eurogamer, VG247, Official PlayStation Magazine UK, and so many more since July 2009. Come @ him about The Last of Us, Metal Gear Solid 3, Jonsi and Alex, or the Four Horsewomen of WWE on Twitter @JohnnyCullen.

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