#ESIForum: Fnatic merch will overtake Arsenal’s in fifty years

The third in our Esports Insider Forum Series (#ESIForum) took place late last week as the Bunkr played host to another evening of esports business discussion, networking and gaming. 

Sponsored by Gamers Apparel, the topic this time around was esports and apparel, from jerseys to streetwear. It saw an excellent line up of exceL Esports Co-Founder and MD Kieran Holmes-Darby, Fnatic Marketing Director Benoit Pagotto and Raven Founder Sam Wells. The session was moderated by the Head of Esports at GOAT Agency, Adam Whyte

The discussion ranged from how many sponsors is too many, jersey design, choice of fabrics, big brands such as Adidas coming in, streetwear, different kits for different games and more. A follow up Gamers Apparel poll on their Twitter showed a fairly strong belief in 2-4 sponsors on a team jersey being the ideal, with 66% of 206 votes going for this option.

Holmes-Darby, exceL Esports MD said: “Our jerseys started out busier but now we’ve gone more minimalist. This adds a customisable element which drives sales, this was why we made this decision. Others have done it too, such as FaZe, and I think you’ll see more of this as time goes by.”

He continued: “We’ve seen different approaches coming in with esports apparel, such as SK’s baseball style jerseys, and there’ plenty of scope for different options here.”

This is something Fnatic know well; the organisation has a number of lines of streetwear and has more in the pipeline. Pagotto also said to keep an eye out next year when it comes to different kits for different games.  A bolder claim from Pagotto was that within fifty years, Fnatic merch will overtake Arsenal FC, whilst the org’s Marketing Director also explained how players are key in marketing esports kit and that streaming is a central platform for advertising.

Following the panel, as is customary in our #ESIForum series events, there was a straight knockout tournament. The game of choice this time was Tekken and, despite some strong competition, first place went to WeGeek Founder and CEO Noor Alkahdra.

With the apparel and merch theme of this Forum, the corner space of the Bunkr was decked out in something of a showroom as seen above, with Fnatic, ESL and ULT gear on show. Keep an eye out for our upcoming ESI Tour of London (via our Twitter @esportsinsider_) in which there’ll be ample chances to win some of the above (and more) esports apparel and swag.

Our next ESI Forum is on October 26th, with the panel dissecting the wider topic of sponsorship in esports, how, what and why? 

We expect this one to pack out the Bunkr so get your ticket whilst you still can at this link, for the bargain price of £15 plus VAT. Drinks, food, networking and fun included. Plus, if you’re any good at Rocket League, you might just leave with both that winning feeling and a prize. 

As for the September edition the official video, courtesy of event partner ESL UK, will be up in the near future where you’ll be able to relive the panel’s chat. Thanks to all who attended and we’ll see you in October!