This week on The Esports Roundtable, host Joe Hills brings along Allan Phang, Allstars Engagement and Internal Branding, AirAsia People and Culture to discuss how the airline entered the esports industry and exactly what it does within the scene.
Phang starts off by revealing his entry into gaming, which started with Alley Cat – a game released for the Atari in 1983 – as well as Pacman, 486, and other classics. From there he ventured into Starcraft and Counter-Strike, which as we all know, became big games in the rapidly-growing competitive scene. Playing those games made Phang release the potential of esports many, many years ago, though he didn’t keep up with the scene’s progress.
AirAsia – for those unsure is a company that offers flights to over 120 destinations across Asia. The firm decided to spread awareness of esports internally when it realised that esports spectators fit perfectly into its key demographic. As has been much documented, the esports industry is growing rapidly, with Twitch alone overtaking traditional cable networks in viewership in certain incidences, so Phang decided that the company’s staff needed to be aware of the entire scene.
The self-proclaimed esports evangelist goes on to explain just why AirAsia runs a club to educate and nurture its employees’ knowledge and interest in the industry. This, as he elaborates in plenty of detail, makes the process of expanding into esports much easier – such as when it sponsored Team Mineski, a competitive Dota 2 team, in January of this year.
Speaking to Esports Insider, Joe Hills, Founder and Host of the Roundtable podcast commented on this episode:
“Allan’s championing of esports internally is an amazing example of how non-endemics can embrace esports for more than the standard sponsorships or partnerships approach. If it makes sense for your brand, start a community and watch it grow and attract the next generation of high performers in your business! Who knows? Maybe it’ll lead to some amazing activations down the line.
Massive props for Allan for his work so far… I might be his biggest fan!”
Hills and Phang recently met at the Esports BAR, the business conference out in Cannes. Hills is the Founder of Looking for Group, an esports executive recruitment company and has worked to achieve placements for many high profile individuals in the burgeoning esports industry.