The latest in esports - September 25th

FIFA 18 (EA Sports)

FIFA 18 (EA Sports)

EA Sports adds esports jerseys into FIFA 18

FIFA, the world’s most popular football video game series, is back once again with the latest addition FIFA 18 due for release on September 29th. Ahead of its release EA Sports has announced that for the very first time a few of the biggest esports teams will have their official jerseys feature in FIFA 18. This is the first time EA Sports has placed the jersey for an esports team into their game for fans to use and represent as they play.

Team Liquid, Team Vitality, AS Roma and Hashtag United will be the first to have their jersey replicated digitally into the game. AS Roma’s jersey displays the FNATIC team logo, the esports organisation who are managing AS Roma’s esports team. Not only does this give fans the chance to wear the jersey of their favourite teams, but it also opens up the opportunity for the team’s to reach new fans who discover their kits in-game. So far only these 4 esports teams have announced their presence within FIFA 18, but this is likely to be the start of more to come and a way to show that EA Sports is engaging with the esports community to make things like this happen.

Arena of Valor (Tencent)

Arena of Valor (Tencent)

Esports coming to the Nintendo Switch?

The hybrid handheld console from Nintendo has been flying off the shelves since it launched earlier this year. Whether you want to play at home or on the go, the Nintendo Switch sold 4.7million units between its release on March 3rd and the end of June. It was the best-selling console in August and Nintendo have their targets set on selling 10 million units in its first year. The game library for the Switch is still fairly limited but at their most recent Nintendo Direct event they announced a new game title was coming to the console, which could open up the Switch to esports. Nintendo has announced that Arena of Valor, the mobile MOBA created by Tencent Games, will be heading to the Nintendo Switch console as a Beta this winter.

Arena of Valor launched across Europe earlier this year as the Chinese tech company looks to replicate the gaming success they’ve seen across far Eastern countries. With the mobile version encouraging competitive 5 vs 5 gaming, one can only assume that the Nintendo Switch version will follow this set-up. As Tencent builds the player base and esports scene across Europe they could look to include both mobile and Switch players within this. The Nintendo Switch version could play a key part to pushing Arena of Valor even further as it will be the first Moba game to make its way to the fast selling console.

Gfinity’s Elite Series is returning

Following a successful first run, the Gfinity Elite Series will be back for more eports action starting next month. The Elite Series bought amateur gamers to the big leagues as they played alongside professional teams through intense competition. The Elite Series returns on October 6th and will once again feature competitive gaming across Street Fighter, Rocket League and CS:GO. The series will be broadcasted on Friday night, Saturday morning & Saturday evening.

For the first series Gfinity secured broadcast partnerships with BT Sport, BBC Three & Eleven Sport, to push their esports content to mainstream media channels. According to Gfinity the first series received over three million views through their broadcasted content, and reached more than 220 million impressions across social media. Since the first series one of the teams involved, Team Epsilon, has built their own professional Rocket League team made entirely from players who came up through the Elite Series. Not only is Gfinity providing entertaining esports content to keen fans and mainstream viewers, but they’re also helping pave the way for ambitious and talented amateur players.

Charity funding by League of Legends

In the lead up to the League of Legends Worlds 2017 tournament, a special Championship hero skin has been created for fans to purchase in celebration of the event. Worlds 2017 starts on September 23rd where 24 of the best teams will begin fighting their way through the stages before one team is crowned as champions on November 4th. With every purchase of the ‘Championship Ashe’ skin 25% of the earnings will be added to the prize pool for Worlds 2017. The Worlds prize pool currently sits at just over $2.1m, put in by Riot Games, with this expected to rise significantly after adding the earnings from the in-game skin sales.

Since the skins release Riot Games have announced that not only will 25% of the earnings be added to the prize pool but they will match the contribution and donate the same amount to charity. Last year the prize pool reached over $5m, with around $3m of this coming from Championship skin sales. With sales likely to be even higher this year Riot Games could end up donating over $3m to charity. Riot have picked out three charities who will all benefit from their funding, in areas that support causes that their players care about - mental health care, access to education, and access to technology. It’s amazing to see Riot Games use their global esports event to drive charitable donations, raising a life changing amount of money through gamers purchasing an in-game item.

The hero Ashe (Riot Games)

The hero Ashe (Riot Games)

The Wembley Cup returns

The Wembley Cup is back and it's going to be bigger and better than ever before. YouTube star Spencer FC will be facing off against two of the world's best freestyle footballers, The F2. 

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In Spencer's corner is Hashtag United, his very own homegrown team who think they have what it takes to beat the F2's Tekkers Town, an all-star team filled with some of the best football talent on YouTube. Not only do we have YouTube stars, but joining them will be some footballing legends as Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Folwer, Steven Gerrard & more await their turn to step back onto the pitch.

Buy tickets and see the spectacular match at Wembley: bit.ly/TicketsWC

Watch the first episode of The Wembley Cup 2017 below:

The School of Snapchat

On Friday the clever people over at Snapchat invited us to attend their immersive School of Snapchat day. We were cleverly transported back to the 90s and a world where PJ and Duncan were still cool, and indeed Donna Air was more Geordie, less royalty.

The Snapchat Lollipop lady greeted us on arrival at the secret location, we were promptly put in houses and given lockers, ahead of the headmaster leading us into an outburst of the school anthem, all before 9.30 am.

Think secret cinema does media partnerships; this day was an A+ event at getting brands and agencies to love and champion your brand for you. Complete with some serious styling attention to detail, lots of kitsch merch and a school party complete with sugar-laden bottles of Hooch.

That aside, the day was broken down into 4 lessons all designed to help us master the functionality and benefits of the app. Each lesson came with it’s own teacher, learning materials and what felt like a practical exam. We went through Maths, Science, Art and Media Studies, touching on different areas from creative to audience insights.

Here's just four things we learnt, one from each lesson:

The Snapchat audience aren't kids. 61% of Snapchat users are between the age of 18-34, de-bunking the rumor that only teenagers are using the app. 

Four ways to engage with ads. When running ads across Snapchat, users can be encouraged to swipe up to read an article, install an app, watch a longer piece of content or be directed to a web page. 

Filters and lenses get huge engagement. Every day over 60% of snaps sent include one of the apps creative tools, whether that is a dog-face lens or a colour filter.

Discovering new content. Over 10 billion videos are watched every single day. Bitesized content from Snapchat's media partners like Sky, offer a new way to enjoy both long and short form content. 

Whilst this was far from your average day at school, it was most certainly a lesson in good brand communications and sales.

Hats off to Snapchat – we’re confident many of the graduates will buy very much into the programme and you’ll see many more filters and lenses to come this summer.

Just another HSE Cake weekender

Despite Arsenal winning, the FA Cup final felt like it got it's mojo back

We worked with EE and YouTube influencer Callux to highlight EE's sponsorship of Wembley, promote their JustEat collaboration and create a fun piece of content which saw him and 4 of his fans have a sleep-over at Wembley the night before the FA Cup final. His video went live on Saturday night at 7pm and has since had over 850,000 views. Give it a watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C3mbYklt2c

We also supported the FA's alternate broadcast, offering special behind-the-scenes content and commentary by two influencers, along with special guests including Callux, all live streamed to the FA TV YouTube channel, with EE as the lead partner. It's clocked up over 115,000 views: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlHIHetekG8

Then, we were straight back to work at Paddington Station this morning to celebrate the launch of the first Paddington 2 trailer. There's a screen in a giant suitcase and lovingly made '2' shaped marmalade sandwiches. 

If you head out from Paddington Station this evening make sure to keep an eye out for it. The sandwiches have gone though...

SportsPro Live Digital Sports Panel

Wembley Stadium, the home to some of the UK's biggest sports events, became the setting for SportsPro Live. I joined a panel with Jean-Marc Paihol, the Global Head of Market Management & Distribution at Allianz, along with Louis Matignon, Multiplatform Solutions Manager at Eurovision, to discuss Digital Sport and how it is measuring up and following the footsteps of more traditional sport. 

I provided the panel audience with insights from a so called 'millennial', a word the panel seemed to agree was not in their favored vocabulary. For someone who's TV isn't plugged in and who's daily consumption of content is all online, I shared my thoughts, experience and insights into how this audience reacts and consumes the content from these new digital sports. Whether it's the viral sensation of Drone Racing, Virtual Golf tournaments or the FIFA Interactive World Cup, these digital sports are growing at a phenomenal rate and they're being helped by how the audience consumers and supports them. Digital sports, esports specifically, is available nearly 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Across social media, streaming platforms and news updates, esports is all-access which and some what of an edge over traditional seasonal sport. However, there also isn't enough room for this always on approach, especially when it comes to massive events. The esports calendar is becoming busier, nearly too busy and a balance will soon be needed to give everyone involved enough breathing space to continue growing. This is where traditional sports can teach the digital equivalent how the balance could be found.

- Liam Thompson / Gaming & Influencer Exec

NOT 1, NOT 2 BUT 3 AWARDS

Chuffed to have won three UK Sponsorship Awards last night!! 'Best use of PR' for Barclays Premier League, 'Best use of Research & Evaluation' for Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and Natasha Cabral walked away with the hugely prestigious Barrie Gill Award, given to the rising star in the UK sponsorship industry. Fantastic work.

New eSports column on SportBusiness

In the start of a new series, Liam Thompson, our gaming and eSports guru picks out the most interesting stories from the eSports sector and writes up an overview for SportBusiness, the world's biggest selling sport business magazine.

The first overview includes:

  • Audi signs short-term deal with Astralis team
  • NBA and Take-Two to create official NBA 2K eLeague
  • Gillette’s League of Legends activation will allow fans to 3D print shaving accessories
  • And more

Read the full piece on SportBuisness here.

SIGNING NATALIE DORMER FOR EA!

Our EA team secured Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer to play Dr Lexi T’Perro in Mass Effect: Andromeda


In the newest instalment of the Mass Effect series, Lexi enters the depths of outer space, stepping on board The Tempest. Natalie Dormer voices one of the game’s central characters and one of the first characters players will meet when they wake up from their 600-year cryo sleep.
 

ARE YOU A FREELANCE PRODUCTION MANAGER??

With some major events in the pipeline across Barclays, Coca-Cola and EE we are on the hunt for a Freelance Production Manager. Check out the JD below and send over your CV and cover letter to Joanne.Warnes@havas-se.com

 

Freelance Production Manager JD

We are looking for a freelance production manager with a strong integrated campaign background covering sports and entertainment, who has a real flare and passion for live events.  The candidate will have experience in activating brand partnerships and a strong history of creating and implementing first class consumer brand experiential campaigns and a proven track record in managing campaign elements and coordinating external suppliers.

As a Production Manager, we look to you to have strong relationships with a variety of suppliers and be able to pull together competitive costs and solutions for both live campaigns and new business projects. We expect you to be able to manage the creative requirements for all your production elements liaising with our in-house creative team to achieve this.

Your role is focused upon day to day delivery – you will need to manage the demands and prioritization of your tasks and client needs. You need to be conducting business in an effective manner with pro-activity, attention to detail and accuracy in all communication either internal or external.

We’re proud of our client roster and excited to work with some of the biggest brands in the world including; Barclays, Carling, Coca-Cola and EE. Although we would not expect you to be an expert in their field, we would expect you to have an up to date knowledge of innovation and technology in the activation and experiential industry, making you versatile at activating across these markets.  We would expect you to take responsibility for keeping this knowledge current and see you playing a key role in exciting our clients with examples and demonstrations of the latest trends, event innovations, case studies and best practices emerging from the wider industry.

Key Skills

Planning and organisation, effective at planning your time and efficient at producing project documents including briefs, contact reports and status reports

Finance, you should be able to structure and maintain an accurate budget, managing suppliers, POs and communication with our finance team

Planning, demonstrate experience in planning and proposing both creative and practical brand campaigns

Communication, you should be confident communicating at every level, with a knowledge and sensitivity that you can apply to a variety of different situations – negotiating with suppliers, supporting team members or simply getting on with your colleagues and key contacts

Industry knowledge and expertise, you should understand and be able to communicate trends within the industry and market place. Ideally you will be able to demonstrate this knowledge with examples of your ability to think creatively and see opportunities of how you can bring this knowledge to life

Some of the key day-to-day duties will include:

  1. Propose production solutions for new business pitches
  2. Write budget for new business pitches
  3.  Write production time-lines for live events
  4. Liaise with external and internal suppliers to execute live campaigns and one off events/productions
  5. Manage you client budgets to ensure work is delivered profitably and communicated to the wider team

 

UK SPONSORSHIP AWARDS FINALISTS!!

We've just been shortlisted for 5 UK Sponsorship Awards!

Barclays (x2)

Our work celebrating the end of Barclays 15-year tenure as title sponsor of the Premier League has been shortlisted for two awards - Brand Sponsorship of the Year and Best use of PR in a Sponsorship Campaign

EE (x2)

Having just been shortlisted for the BT Sports Industry Awards, The EE Wembley Cup is on a roll being shortlisted for Branded Content of the Year and Digital Activation of the Year.

HSE Cake

The 5th and final shortlisted entry is for Consultancy of the Year so let the 40 day countdown to the awards night commence! 

SPURS £400M STADIUM PARTNER

Tottenham Hotspur are planning a £400m deal for the naming rights to their new stadium and are prepared to drop all references to White Hart Lane in order to secure the most money from a potential deal. Jo Porter, Managing Partner Insight & Strategy spoke to The Drum to shed light on how the football club's push for a naming rights partner could pan out: "There are broadly two types of potential naming rights strategy. One leads with brand engagement, the other puts a higher emphasis on generating brand awareness.The O2 and Wembley connected by EE are good examples of brands using venues to engage with new and existing customers, by seamlessly showcasing core service attributes in to the relationship. "Then there's the other type of sponsor who wants to use football's huge media numbers to create broad awareness with a new or foreign audience. The decision to offer a clean name potentially helps Spurs' chances of finding this type of partner at a higher price point." Full article HERE

Tottenham Hotspur are planning a £400m deal for the naming rights to their new stadium and are prepared to drop all references to White Hart Lane in order to secure the most money from a potential deal.

Jo Porter, Managing Partner Insight & Strategy spoke to The Drum to shed light on how the football club's push for a naming rights partner could pan out:

"There are broadly two types of potential naming rights strategy. One leads with brand engagement, the other puts a higher emphasis on generating brand awareness.The O2 and Wembley connected by EE are good examples of brands using venues to engage with new and existing customers, by seamlessly showcasing core service attributes in to the relationship.

"Then there's the other type of sponsor who wants to use football's huge media numbers to create broad awareness with a new or foreign audience. The decision to offer a clean name potentially helps Spurs' chances of finding this type of partner at a higher price point."

Full article HERE

OUR NIGHT AT THE BAFTAS

Last night was the 70th BAFTA and our team were front and centre celebrating the 20th year EE have sponsored the event. 

After months of preparation, we hosted a VIP pre-drinks party for 150 guests at the Dorchester, welcomed 140 VIP guests for the ceremony and post-awards dinner and surprised 475 competition winners with tickets (400 more than previous years!). For 75 of these winners, this also included an exclusive post-awards dinner. 

Another superb team effort!

 

WE'VE BEEN SHORTLISTED!!!

Absolutely chuffed EE Wembley Cup was shortlisted for Event or Competition Sponsorship of the Year!!

EE Wembley Cup

Collaborating notable gaming and football YouTube vloggers with FIFA Legends we launched The EE Wembley Cup, a 8-part YouTube series climaxing in a live final at Wembley Stadium with a 22k strong crowd. The series generated over 40m online views, 540k likes and 382k comments - 99.6% of which were positive! The game was live streamed and had a peak live audience of 280k with the hashtag being used 130k times and trending organically #1 on Twitter.

Let the countdown to the ceremony commence...!! 

ELEAGUE ACTION

Another week of eSports action rounded up with all the bits you need to know by our gaming pro Liam Thompson

What a week we had last week. For me as a big CS:GO fan I was treated to a full 7 days of eSports action during the ELeague Major, watching the best teams from around the world compete for a slice of the $1 million prize pool. The Eleague event was hugely successful for a number of reasons, with ridiculous kills, unexpected upsets and amazing comebacks. More broadcasting deals, exclusive signings and sponsorships have occurred in the last week with a few to pick out and digest.

Audi’s new sponsorship takes pole position

After previously highlighting Audi’s jump into eSports by sponsoring team Astralis, I mentioned they were in the running to win the upcoming ELeague CS:GO Major… And they did just that.  After a shaky start losing their first match, winning just two out of their first four and being one game away from elimination, things weren’t looking good for Astralis. The team clutched up and made a championship run which went down to the wire. With it all hanging on the final round, game three of three, Astralis managed to win the grand final 16-14 against Virtus.Pro. For Audi this is the best start possible to their new found sponsorship, their brand already making an impact to eSports viewers.

Watch the winning moment right here via Twitch eSports.

Record breaking viewership

Speaking of viewers, it was announced that the Eleague CS:GO Major broke the all-time concurrent viewer figures in the history of Twitch. The previous record of 890k concurrent viewers was smashed; the grand final reached over 1 million live viewers, all tuning in to watch Astralis and Virtus.Pro fight it out for $500,000. 1 million live viewers… Not only is that number just crazy, but the viewing figures often sat between 300-600k viewers for the majority of the week long tournament, which doesn’t include around 200k people who watched directly via GOTV on the game itself, plus those watching live through Turner’s broadcasting channels. Going back to my point before, Audi’s brand was displayed subtly at the fore-front of this tournament to millions of eSports fans across just one week all down to Astralis.

Facebook secure exclusive streaming rights with Blizzard

Similar to how ESL agreed exclusive streaming rights to YouTube Gaming for their 2017 Pro league, Facebook are now stepping up their game and following suit with new exclusive streaming rights. In an agreement with Blizzard Entertainment, Facebook have been granted an exclusive deal to broadcast the 2017 spring season of “Heroes of the dorm” taking away the rights from ESPN2 which has shown the season and championship for the last two years. Moving from a paid network service to a free social platform will help Blizzard reach a new and potentially bigger audience than before, showcasing the competition, statistics and more.

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G2 eSports becomes the first to sign Facebook deal

It isn’t just publishers and leagues who are creating these streaming deals with Facebook, now a team is too. G2 eSports have also announced a deal with Facebook which will see the team broadcast gameplay onto the platform. G2 currently have professional teams across 6 different games including League of Legends, Hearthstone and Rocket League. While the deal isn’t exclusive and the players will likely continue to use services such as Twitch and YouTube, they will start to ramp up their broadcasts on Facebook being the first team to sign such a deal. They aim to use this new media strategy to help grow the team’s audience, unlock new sponsorships and increase engagement with its brand.

Gillette signs cutting edge deal with ESL

Gillette has announced a new global partnership with ESL which sees the male grooming brand sponsor the League of Legends Intel® Extreme Masters World Championship Katowice 2017. Gillette will be offering the teams and fans at IEM Katowice the chance to customize Gillette razor handles using 3D printing technology. Any League of Legend’s players competing at the event will also receive free grooming services throughout the opening weekend. Gillette has also signed its first eSports athlete to become a global brand ambassador, xPeke, a professional gamer who once was crowned MVP at a previous IEM Katowice event. They’ll be creating content with him and holding special signing sessions at this year’s event.

As broadcasting rights get eaten up by different platforms and even teams are starting to follow the trend it will be interesting to see how many more we see over the next few months. 

'THIS GIRL CAN' RETURNS!

'This Girl Can has returned and Jim Dowling, MD, talks to The Drum about the power of the campaign: "The industry habitually defaults to using superstar athletes to inspire people to do more physical activity and buy product.'This Girl Can' helped land the message to the rest of the industry that many women can be intimidated by physical perfection rather than inspired by it” Full article HERE

'This Girl Can has returned and Jim Dowling, MD, talks to The Drum about the power of the campaign:

"The industry habitually defaults to using superstar athletes to inspire people to do more physical activity and buy product.'This Girl Can' helped land the message to the rest of the industry that many women can be intimidated by physical perfection rather than inspired by it”

Full article HERE