With billions of dollars in play, Esports has become one of the fastest growing markets in the world, and Adcetera is helping DarkZero navigate this exciting new space.
DarkZero is Houston’s newest Esports franchise — a collection of elite teams playing a variety of different video games at a competitive level — and they came to us with a smart business plan, a bold vision, and the talent to make it happen. DarkZero needed a partner who truly understood their space and the opportunities that come with it. A partner with real Esports expertise to help them establish a resonant identity in this rapidly evolving industry.
That’s where Adcetera came in.
Seizing on a critical opportunity
DarkZero was launching at a critical point in time for Esports — both in Houston and around the world. What was once considered a niche market had exploded with an even brighter future on the horizon.
Last year, the Esports industry generated over $1.5 billion in revenue and is on pace to reach $2.3 billion as early as 2022. And Texas is helping to lead the charge — with over $800 million generated annually in game development and with plans to build a 1,000-seat gaming arena, the Lone Star State is a growing force in the Esports industry.
New and emerging organizations like DarkZero play a key role in this evolution, and building momentum now is critical to ongoing relevance and performance in this increasingly competitive industry.
Building the DarkZero brand
As Esports continues to evolve, the demographic and organizational expectations surrounding teams, fans, and organizations is also changing. Crude imagery and basement dweller perceptions are now more liability than reality, and today’s influential players have made it a point to distance themselves from these tired clichés. In order to thrive and resonate with gamers, viewers, and the sponsors who make everything possible, DarkZero’s brand would need to convey their three core values: power, precision, and professionalism.
Our design teams worked to create a visual identity that conveyed both the classic ethos and a level of professionalism keeping close to that of traditional sports leagues. Incorporating recognizable elements like level maps and target reticles, Adcetera designed a logo and accompanying visual identity system that evokes both the gaming aesthetic and a refined, modern cool that translates from jerseys and skateboards to digital assets without a shred of dissonance.
In the world of gaming, speed is everything. To get DarkZero market-ready in time for the signing of their first team, we developed a website strategically crafted to connect fans with the players and events that matter to them — intuitively and without the hard sell that today’s gamers reject.
To keep the new DarkZero brand consistent and active in a variety of contexts, Adcetera developed a full suite of creative digital and traditional executions, including jerseys, skateboard decks, t-shirts, digital graphics, and much more.
Within 24 hours of their online debut, DarkZero had gained thousands of unique users from over 100 countries. Reactions from the vocal gaming community were overwhelmingly positive as well, with word of mouth driving DarkZero’s Twitter and Twitch follower counts into the thousands in just four days. The initial demand for merch featuring the logo and brand identity was so strong that DarkZero launched their e-commerce channel months ahead of schedule with new apparel designed by Adcetera to help them satisfy global demand. And within just three months, the DarkZero website reached over 10,000 collective users and followers across their online platforms for a 500% increase in overall traffic since launch – all with no paid promotion or media placement. Good game, if we do say so ourselves.
The Esports revolution is just getting started
Esports isn’t just a fad or a market curiosity – it’s a focal point in the future of global entertainment and brand partnerships. That said, this ever-evolving industry requires a special touch – gamers and players represent an emerging audience with their own distinct preferences. And it isn’t just enough to engage with the teams and their players or sponsor events – new and existing brands alike need refined strategies to engage this growing audience effectively. From branding and go-to-market strategy to event-driven activations and more, Adcetera has the experience and expertise to connect your brand with this increasingly important audience. Let’s size the opportunity together – contact us today to discuss how we can elevate your position in this exciting space.