Esports: The New Super Bowl?!

Esports, what is it and why do we keep hearing about it? Rebecca Longawa is known to be an expert when it comes to Esports. She sits down and shares with us the in’s and out’s!

What is Esports?

Esports is competitive video gaming. It is taking gaming that there’s a number of video games you can compete against other people in. It is formalizing that into tournaments. We’ve seen a huge growth over the past 3-4 years, especially in the US.

This isn’t just kids sitting around these are turning into big events right?

Professional gamers that are in a franchise, they’re making pretty healthy salaries that rival some rookie/pro sports teams’ salaries. It can’t really be ignored. There’s also taking into consideration the streamers. Streamers are: playing video games and streaming it online. There’s also marked audiences that are engaging in the millions following these streamers.

When you move into the gaming space, and you’re talking about Esports and Events, tell me about these events.

There’s a lot of opportunities and the events are big and small. It goes game to game. If you think about the olympics and there’s individual sports that are underneath the umbrella, some sports are huge events, and some sports are not a huge events. These are selling out stadiums.

Does that mean there are early opportunities for getting involved?

I think there’s a huge cost of missing out. There is marked opportunities at many levels. When I’ve met with non endemic brand, a brand not already monetizing Esports, a lot of times they will say, we want to get involved. I ask what are your goals, and they just know they want to be in. You have to approach it the way you would any marketing strategy or goal. What are you trying to do? Then we will find a clone or entirely new opportunity to grow your customer base through the avenue of Esports and gaming. It’s extremely scalable.

When we look at other public facing brands, you’re saying they need to approach this they way they would sponsor the NBA or others….

Right. It’s been a little bit of Wild West in Esports because it is a growing market. There have been companies and individuals who have taken advantage of brands.

From a sponsor standpoint, what audience and demographic are they looking at?

It varies game to game. If you are a team like call of duty, the brands attracted are the same kinds of brands that were early to get involved in the UFC and MMA and boxing. You have to look at this opportunity by opportunity, game by game, demographic by demographic. There are opportunities to connect to very young and working your way all the way up to older, more sophisticated audiences.

Do the game manufacturers create sponsorship opportunities within the game?

There are opportunities, a lot of times you hear people talk about a specific brand that comes out with a skin.

Do you think this will be like pro sports where you have companies endorsing individual players?

Yeah there is room for that. There’s room for that built in specific contracts. I think it’s going to differ team by team and contract and contract. I would say that competitive gamers in the pro circuit in comparison to the top streamers are not as entertaining or engaging.

How do those in meetings and events get involved?

There are meeting and event people that have been really instrumental in helping a traditional Digital platform of Esports that started out being all digital. This industry had to learn live events. Traditional sports are like, how do we go digital. Esports started digital. The live events, the space, there’s a ton of room. If you’re an event company theres room to put on and curate events that bring industry thought leaders.

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