Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 68
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Lagardere Sports Exec Talks Initial Challenges Surrounding Esports For Brands

Lagardere Sports Germany Managing Dir Robert Muller von Vultejus kicked off the ’17 esports Rising conference on Thursday by outlining the challenges and opportunities around the industry. He started by asking the audience of 300-plus how many are actively playing, and about 20% raised their hand. Then he asked how many are watching esports competitions, about 35% of the hands went up. “The rest of you are stuck with traditional sports,” he said, with a laugh. Muller outlined data points around esports, and laid out the ecosystem of publishers (Riot), operators (ESL), teams, players/influencers, broadcasters, streaming platforms (Twitch), brands and agencies. “For the brands, it’s quite a complex market,” he said. “Far more complex than any other sports. The audience is very open, but on the other side, can be fairly critical. The esports community requires that a brand has to add value.”  He outlined the challenges of figuring out where sponsors should invest in the space -- across events, teams, media platforms or a combination. 

WHAT’S NEXT: He concluded with opportunities and challenges, and predicted that more non-endemics will enter the space. “That’s a marked shift from 18 months ago,” he said, adding that brands must have a thorough understanding of the esports community if they hope to capitalize on their investment. Muller said it would help the esports ecosystem if there was more structure and overall professionalism, and that there needs to be more transparency and orientation to provide industry standards in terms of KPIs, compliance and offering measureable deliveries. Muller: “If these are fulfilled, esports has the ability to become one of the leading sports industries in the world, and will be sustainable.”

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.