ESI London 2018 Preview: Building a brand in esports

Turkish Airlines, Sephora, Uber Eats, Domino’s. What do all of these brands have in common? You (we hope) guessed it; esports. 

In fact, each of these companies has signed a commercial partnership, or at least announced one, in the past few months. Uber Eats signed a sponsorship agreement with Spaceship Gaming, Domino’s penned a long-term deal with Gfinity, Sephora entered via the recent GirlGamer Festival, whilst Turkish Airlines has come on board as the supporter of the forthcoming RFRSH Blast Pro Series in Istanbul this autumn.

So, an airline, a food delivery service, a make up brand and a pizza specialist (yes, specialist), have all recognised the value of being involved in the esports industry in some form. Whilst the options are many; the term esports itself after all essentially as much of an umbrella term as sports, there is still a lack of clarity for many brands about where the value lies, and how to go about entering. Do you sponsor a major one off tournament, a league, a team, individual players, or a selection of the above? Oh, and there’s the little question of which game.

Naturally this all depends on your goals, and target demographic, but rest assured there is an opportunity for (almost) everyone. At ESI London (September 18-20th), our esports business conference this September, one of the 17 sessions will be discussing ‘Building a brand in esports’. 

We’ve assembled the Avengers of brand building in esports so you don’t have to, and you can check the full details of the panel below…

Building a brand in esports

Learn how industry experts have kicked off, built and grown their brand in esports, both from investment and/or their own pockets.

Hear their personal stories of blood, sweat, tears and triumph.  

Understand the thought process behind designing the logo, merch and how they went to market. How does data come into it, and which partnerships should one sign? Finally, become better versed in the story-telling, production, social media management and monetisation of esports specific content.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Daniel Herz – CFO – CompLexity Gaming
  • Johnny Kutnowski – Product Manager Esports and Emerging Products – Blinkfire Analytics
  • Alex Dreyfus – CEO – ChiliZ

If you want to learn how industry experts managed to turn small, humble ideas into fully-fledged, successful, and recognisable brands, then this panel will quench that thirst. Some time back we interviewed Daniel Herz, CRO of CompLexity Gaming, about their partnership with apparel firm H4X. You can read that in full here

All of these speakers will be on hand to share the entire conception of their brand, from the creation of the logo to designing, producing, signing commercial partnerships and ‘activating’ them, as well as marketing merchandise; delving into the many factors that go into becoming a success – especially in a young industry such as esports.

Blinkfire Analytics’ Kutnowski noted: “Over at Blinkfire Analytics we believe events like ESI London serve as a fantastic meeting point for all sorts of professionals and companies within esports. It helps us reach more people and show them the incredible value we can deliver to teams, sponsors, or anyone in esports!” 

The coverage doesn’t stop there, though. These esteemed figures will elaborate on just how important storytelling, managing and developing a social media presence is, and perhaps most important for a brand, how to establish monetisation for such activities.

Standard across most industries, the basics of branding include establishing a logo and an identity, securing a trademark, merchandising and apparel, strategies from marketing and engagement with fan and supporters, and financing all of these operations.

It’s true that in a way branding separates average esports organisations from the great ones. Whether it’s documenting a team’s growth and rise to the top through video content much like OpTic Gaming and FaZe Clan have, or delivering consistently-impressive products and tournaments such as ESL, there’s a knack to creating an effective and memorable brand.

The exceedingly fresh example of a team and sponsor ‘activation’ and content done right, is the announcement of the deal between Spacestation Gaming and Uber Eats which saw not just a great video, but also a call for poetry….

Branding is a common practice across businesses in all industries, but it’s hard to get it right.

Not only is an effective brand memorable for consumers and potential supporters, it’s a way of distinguishing a company from competitors. Team Liquid, for example, clearly communicate that it is the “home of top athletes” across numerous titles, letting those that come across the brand know that it’s a leader in the space and styles itself as such. This level of confidence and lack of modesty suggests that the organisation is sure in its ability to compete at the top of a number of games, and why not.

Ahead of ESI London in September 18-20th, if anyone has any questions about the event or indeed branding a build in esports then please reach out to [email protected]  


Ready to book your ticket? You can do so here!