How Esports Can Use and Create Snapchat Geofilters

How Esports Can Use and Create Snapchat Geofilters

(This Article First Appeared on April 8th on by Brandon Nolte)

The majority of esports viewers are from 15 to 35, which also is current majority of Snapchat users. For marketers, this is a huge win as it helps create new stories and build exposure over a period of time.  I recently had the opportunity to buy a Snapchat filter for a non-esports related event. It gave me inspiration for new ideas and concepts that should be used in esports. Esports is entertainment, as are the brands that sponsor teams and operate within the scene.  This means that there has to be an engagement level from the fans and viewers. Snapchat is giving us new opportunities to engage with participants on both an account and filter level.

What are Snapchat Geofilters?

If you are just getting into Snapchat, Filters are simple overlays that can be used on top of images or videos.  Geofilters are regular filters but have been coded to pop up within a specific area.  These areas are determined by the user when they submit their filter into Snapchat.

Geofilters is the opportunity for your brand to engage with consumers. You get the most impressions for cost and these are what you can consider deep impressions. People who use the filter are exposing your brand to at least 1 other person. Users love filters, they love all the fun features that Snapchat has built.

Gif via

There are currently 2 types of filters, community filters and on-demand. Community filters are free but hard to get.  On-demand filters are what you will be using, these can be bought by a business or a person. Costs start out for $5 and will go up from there depending on the location and size.  20,000 sq.ft. is the smallest amount required and 5,000,000 sq.ft. is the most a filter can target. These filters can run for up to 30 days and be purchased up to 30 days before the usage.

What are its possibilities?

There is always going to be innovative ways to use social media platforms.  Snapchat filters are no exception to that rule and esports is in prime position to be a leader.  From small events, world championships, and even event booths, you can be the first.

Large Events

Major events have happened almost every weekend in 2016.  Large scale events, major conferences, and just get togethers have been on the rise in the industry.  Event managers of small communities, large professional tournaments should be investing in filters.  For as low as $5 you can get prime space to be both interactive and building your brand.

If we are at a large tournament, there should be filters for the event, the teams playing, and for sponsors.  These can come from the event organizer or from the teams.  If you are a team, you can give some great exposure for your sponsor or build brand awareness by just one filter.

These were created by Brandon Nolte for demonstration only

Timing when the filter is live in coordination of when they are playing and the focus is on them will be a huge win.  You don’t need a 24/7 filter to win with Snapchat, just the right time and in the right area.

Here are few possibilities that I hope to see at more events

  • Filter for actual event
  • Filter for Teams at the event
  • Filter for the booths at events (for companies and startups promoting themselves at events)
  • Filter timed specifically for when game is being played
  • Filter for big sponsor of event

You might be thinking there could be an overload of filters and users will get annoyed. You are absolutely right about that, there is always going to be that opportunity, but if you are first, then you got lots of opportunities.

Meet and Greets

This ties into the part above because most happen at the events where they are playing. Occasionally, you get them heading back to their hometown, set up in a big city, or at a university.  Building brand recognition is huge and friends want to make their other  friends jealous. The use of Snapchat is crazy, the deep impressions and the go with time consumed by users is growing.

It could be a unique opportunity to showcase a new partners products in the filter. Consider those getting selfies to have to use the filter, download it, and upload it to Twitter.

Who should be utilizing it?

I’ve thought long and hard about the use of filters and who needs to be using it. The answer is everyone who finds value in it.  There is no one size fit all, but by looking at the above section you easily see who those people are.


  • Event Organizers – If you don’t have a filter at your event, you are missing out on countless cheap impressions.
  • Teams – Timing is huge for you from meet and greets to actually playing on stage.
  • Sponsors – Work with your organizations and look at how they can fit Snapchat into the fulfillment.
  • Brands – If you have a booth setup, consider getting a Snapchat filter, it costs a lot less than the plane ride out there and you can double up your campaigns by engaging those that stop by
  • Personalities —  If I was at least a bit internet famous, I would ensure I had some sort of filter for wherever I go, if it’s the LCS, DreamHack, etc.  Build yourself up and make sure people use the filter when they get that selfie.


Running your own Geofilter

Moving from the why to the how to is important. First, you will need a Snapchat account .  Then continue following our quick guide or check out Gary Vaynerchuks in-depth guide.  If you have questions about what can and can’t be used as a filter, then read Snapchat’s guidelines.

You should give yourself up to 48 hours prior to the event to get your filter approved.  They will do 24 hours, but give yourself some wiggle room to make corrections. Your filter will have to be:

  • 1080px wide by 1920px high
  • under 300KB in size
  • saved as a .PNG file with a transparent background
  • Not include any URL, email address or handles

Step 1 – The Filter

This is the most important aspect, because it’s going to be what people associate with your brand while the filter is live.  When designing your filter keep these aspects in mind.

  • Doesn’t cover the entire screen– be sure you have something on the top, bottom or both, but have enough space to capture that selfie, product, or view of the event.
  • Has your brand & popping images— it needs to be popping so it doesn’t get caught in bright lights or dark settings but also fun, don’t make it super boring or unusable
  • Where are you?  If you are a brand at an event, have the events logo or name on there to make sure the viewers can identify what’s going on.


When creating the image, you might want to keep it a secret and have your in-house graphic designer make something cool.  This allows you the create several ideas and mockups that can be used at a later date.

Community made

Esports has 1000’s of talented graphic designers who are always posting their best work. This isn’t to take away from inhouse designers, but esports was built on community.  Its an opportunity to continue consumer engagement and build publicity about a filter


Step 2 – Dates

You can request the time you want 30 days in advance and can have as short as 1 hour or as long as 30 days.  The algorithm calculates the cost using size and time. In the right areas, you can actually get up to 600,000 Sq. ft for 1 hr for $5. There are some interesting flash mob type filters you could pull off if they would let you.


Step 3 – Location & Size

Be 100% sure the fence is accurate.   Snapchat doesn’t force you to have a rectangle, so be unique in your shapes. You can outline the building, sidewalk, or room so be sure you consider where people will be at.  Occasionally, there are black out areas where you will not be able to get a filter. These areas, such as stadium will have higher prices outside of their black out dates.

Step 4- Submit

Submission is easy, just need a credit card.  It will ask you to name the filter and also add if it is a business or personal filter.  Occasionally they will put the name of the business that created on it. So when users swipe to the filter, it will show your name for a split second.


This is where you can’t just let it go and hope it works.  You have to be tieing in other platforms to ensure a strong campaign.  You wouldn’t open up a restaurant and let it run itself?  You have to advertise, you have to tell people, and most importantly you have to talk.  People love filters and they love engaging in them. If you are an event manager, be sure to post on the big screen that you have a filter and have that call to action.

Making it a campaign!

This is where you have to work closely with your social media managers can pay off. Create a contest that those who download a filtered image,post it on Twitter, and use specific hashtag get entered into a contest.  This is great for organizations to offer exposure to sponsors and promotional partners.  This creates the call to action for the consumer which will hopefully begin the process of converting them into a buyer.

Checking your Success

After the event, it’s going to be time to see if your investment is going to be worth it.  Snapchat gives you 2 pieces of information,  uses and views.  This image above is from an event that I had  30 to 40 people at (only half of which had Snapchat) shows just how large the exposure can be.  I paid $18 for this filter and got roughly 1000 views each day or about $6 per 1000 views.  This is a high cost for snapchat when viewed from a per snap basis (which is still a low cost compared to adwords or facebook advertising), Snapchat charges for cost and size and not the number of views or uses.  This allows you to be the controller of what you pay and what you get out of it.

About Tom Harness

Tom Harness is the owner of Harness Digital Marketing, a digital marketing firm that works with businesses and organizations on Social Media, SEO, and Email Marketing. He is an entrepreneur and business owner with 20 years of combined experience in Education, IT, and Business. Tom is a U.S. Army Veteran and a Southern Illinois University alum. He also enjoys craft beers, his beloved Chicago Cubs, and his family.

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