American, 27, Esports
Gamer set to crossover with the help of his celebrity friends
Representatives: Luminosity Gaming, Jessica 'JGhosty' Goch (wife)
Key partners: Red Bull, Uber Eats, Bud Light, HyperX
In January, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins told a follower on Twitter that he did not have any paid sponsors. Three months later, he told CNBC that he earned US$500,000 a month. So how did he manage that purely streaming via a free-to-use platform? Such is Ninja’s popularity as a Twitch streamer, he has convinced an estimated 200,000 subscribers to pay US$5 a month to watch him play Fortnite.
That level of pull would inevitably bring in paid partners keen to take advantage of such a quantifiable audience. In the past couple of months, Ninja has agreed tie-ups with Red Bull and Uber Eats; the former saw the 27-year-old front his own Fortnite tournament with the energy drinks brand as title sponsor.
Those deals might not have come about had Ninja not embarked on a streaming session with US rap superstar Drake. More than 600,000 followers watched the unlikely partnership play, with Ninja later claiming that the Canadian used him to tap into his followers.
With the popularity of esports rising, marketers keen to delve into its target audience and Ninja the gamer with the biggest crossover potential, his rise is set to be longer lasting than a fortnight. TB