Amidst the ever-changing financial backdrop, teams are faced with a tough conundrum: how to develop their content operations while maintaining a competitive edge.
Pro players are vital to partnership activations, but they also offer their own challenges. They have to be included in a way that drives value for the team and partner, whilst also not being disruptive to their schedules.
In a previous article with Streamcoi, we discussed how the development of influencer rosters could help solve esports’ revenue issues. This piece will focus on how teams, such as Team Vitality and BIG, aim to develop streamers while keeping competitive viability at the heart of their strategy.
Since the previous interview, the industry has shuddered with the news of yet more layoffs, forcing even the largest organisations to scale back their resources across ecosystems that were deemed unprofitable.
Streaming and influencer management has proved a viable option for teams like Team Vitality, who use Streamcoi to manage their massive roster of around 36 streamers.
Esports Insider spoke to Team Vitality Esports Activation Specialist and Influencer Manager Alexandre Carlier, freshly on dry land following the team’s V.BOAT activation on the River Seine for the Paris Major. For him, Streamcoi has made individual activations much easier. To date, the team has launched nine campaigns with over seven million views.
“For competitions on the Vitality Twitch channel, we use it to update assets easily across our different rosters. When we have LFL casts by one of our ambassadors, it won’t be the same partners that we have on the VCT, for example.”
Vitality first partnered with Streamcoi in January this year to deliver greater value for Vitality’s partners, which include the likes of Tezos, ALDI, and more. Sponsors are shown on a small in-stream carousel through Streamcoi on Vitality’s mainstream and players’ personal Twitch Channel. Meanwhile, Vitality’s four ‘Ambassadors’ help promote the club through their own activities on social media, including the team’s Paris win in May.
In each case, the team completes activations that went beyond a shirt sponsorship, and in doing so, helped demonstrate the value of their sponsor to gamers. Tezos created an app for the team, and ALDI helped Vitality launch a female League of Legends roster, helping Vitality develop its talent pool, and the talent pool of female esports overall; a long-overlooked sector.
Pro players: A pitfall for activations?
As many influencer representatives know, professional players are sometimes difficult to engage for sponsor activations not only because playing competitively is their primary concern, but also because they’re not as familiar with the challenges of content production.
“With influencers, we can usually take some time to set them up and make changes quite quickly because they’re used to streaming,” Carlier said. “Some players are not used to this kind of tool.”
Vitality has around 40 professional players across eight different squads, and Carlier can implement campaigns and track them all using Streamcoi.
Philipp Neubauer, Chief Sales Officer of BIG, agreed. He first made contact with Streamcoi in 2020, early in the streaming company’s development cycle for its streaming platform. Like Vitality, BIG puts competition first, which means making sure players display sponsors and activations on streams has been a challenge.
“It’s quite spontaneous”, he said. “Players could be like ‘I have a week of play break for summer. I just want to stream.’ They want everything set up already.”
With Streamcoi, the team can throw files onto the PC from the team server and have things set up automatically.
Streaming monetisation doesn’t have to just extend to sponsor campaigns, however. Team Vitality promoted its Major jersey sale through Streamcoi, while Giants Gaming has put merch promo codes on player streams to incentivise newsletter signups.
The takeaway from each activation, really, is that influencer teams within organisations need to take a more rigorous, quantitative approach to their activations in order to bring in more revenue.
Neubauer’s favourite activation is the team’s collaboration with film studio Paramount, which shows short movie clips to streamer audiences. He recalls an incident where Trackmania streamer Massa reacted to a trailer playing for a Transformers movie. Massa was genuinely surprised, because he hadn’t set up the campaign himself — BIG had pushed the video onto his stream without him changing a thing. The team had successfully crafted a shareable, marketable moment for their partner by being proactive with their streaming tools.
BIG’s Chief Sales Officer has also been able to wrap promotions around specific streamer identities in clever ways that explain use cases for non-endemic sponsors. BIG designers have used a car crash ‘bonk’ overlay meme from one of their streamers’ chats to help push accident insurer die Bayerische’s car insurance deals. The possibilities are endless.
For Carlier, Streamcoi’s package helps Vitality in one key way: “StreamCoi is useful because players can focus on performance, and we ensure their setup is ready whenever they want to stream on their off-time.”
Running streaming with Streamcoi, in other words, has offered another avenue for monetisation, without either organisation compromising performance. In fact, BIG plans to expand its list of influencers this year, signing some large names to attract more fans to the brand.
As the esports landscape continues to evolve, coexistence of influencer networks and great competition is not only achievable, but essential for the sustained growth and success of esports teams.
Supported by Streamcoi