This morning our MD Jim Dowling moderated the European Sponsorship Association breakfast panel at Wembley Stadium to discuss the rise of eSports. The panel of experts including YouTube's George Panayotopoulos, EE's Matt Stevenson, FNATIC's Darren Newnham, ESL's Spike Laurie and Harbottle & Lewis' Michael Lister.
Each member of the panel shared their own thoughts, advice and experiences surrounding eSports, identifying opportunities for brands in what is becoming one of the fastest growing sports in history:
"In eSports no one cares what you look like, what sex you are, if you're in a wheelchair" - Spike Laurie, ESL
"They key thing for brands is the audience, the hard to reach audience." - Matt Stevenson, EE
"The need to succeed, like any athlete or sportsman has" - Darren Newnham, FNATIC
"It's not just the main broadcast and highlights... It's about the story, the players" - George Panayotopoulos, YouTube Gaming
While eSports attracts the elusive millennial that so many brands hope to engage, it is often perceived as a difficult space to enter. We need to remember eSports is more than just the game...it's the players, the teams and the stories beyond the screen.
With millions playing and watching around the world, eSports it is no longer niche, it's undoubtedly turning into a global phenomena.