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THE BIGGEST SPORT YOU’VE PROBABLY
NEVER HEARD OF
eSPORTS:
“The International at KeyArena” by Dota 2 The International. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dota2ti/14919879595/
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
2 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THE NUMBERS
Photo: Dota “TI4 Grand Finals” by Dota 2 The International. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dota2ti/14733229938/in/photost-
ream/ / Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
3 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THE PEOPLE ARE HERE.
An explosive trend of millions of fans around
the world watching people play video games.
71 Million
The number of people who
watch competitive video
gaming as a spectator sport.
Source: Sizing & Profiling eSports’ Popularity | NEWZOO Market Research April 2014
4 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
VIEWERSHIP
FREQUENCY AND
ENGAGEMENT
TIMES ARE
STAGGERING AND
UNPARALLELED.
Source: eSports: Digital Games Brief, April 2014 | SuperData Research www.superdataresearch.com
Tweaktown / HIS Technology Report 2013
US eSPORTS VIEWER ACTIVITY,2013
BASED ON SUPERDATA SURVEY DATA
2.2 hours
19 times
AN AVERAGE eSPORTS VIEWING SESSIONS LASTS:
ON AVERAGE PER MONTH, VIEWERS WATCH eSPORTS:
2.4 billion hours
THE AMOUNT OF eSPORTS FOOTAGE WATCHED ONLINE IN 2013
ONE QUARTER
WATCH
EVERY
DAY
ATTEND
LIVE
EVENTS
5 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
OVERWHELMINGLY WINNING
THE FAN VIEWERSHIP BATTLE
VIEWERS OF SPORTS EVENTS
MLB WORLD
SERIES
NCAA
BASKETBALL
FINAL FOUR
(AVERAGE)
NBA FINALS
(GAME 7)
BCS NATIONALS
CHAMPIONSHIPS
LEAGUE OF
LEGENDS
SEASON 3 WORLD
CHAMPIONSHIPS
14.9 15.7 26.3 26.4 32.0
eSports: Digital Games Brief, April 2014 | SuperData Research www.superdataresearch.com
6 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THE MONEY
IS HERE
$25 Million
The amount of money awarded in 2013 as
prizes to professional gamers from sponsors and
crowdsourcing prize packages.
Photo: “Blizzcon 2011 - Saturday” by Brendan C. https://flic.kr/p/aygWNZ
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
“Blizzcon 2011 - Friday” by Brendan C. https://flic.kr/p/axWScq
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
7 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
With millions of people already playing
video games and the popularity of
video game competition rising, gamers
developed an interest in watching others
play for fun, while learning tips to improve
their play and witnessing pro-gamers
showcasing their skills.
eSports organizations recognized this
trend and created platforms for people to
participate and watch. The dramatic rise
of game streaming services like Twitch,
ESL, and MLG created communities
between players and fans.
Then came the big prize money. The
professional game casters. Video games
broadcast on major networks. Huge,
sold-out crowds. Brand sponsorships.
And from the beginning, unrelentingly
passionate fans.
A perfect sport that fulfills the cultural need
to be the hero, to be part of a community
as both participant and spectator and
experience the thrill of victory.
“WE HAVE NO IDEA
WHAT THE LIMITS
ARE.”— James Lampkin, product manager for ESL
(Electronic Sports League)
eSports is experiencing an explosion in popularity
Photo: “Cloud 9 Takes on Vici Gaming” by Dota 2 The International. https://flic.kr/p/onnWS7
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
8 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THE
ARGUMENT:
IS IT OR
ISN’T IT A
SPORT?
A POINT A VIEW
“IT’S NOT A SPORT —
IT’S A COMPETITION…
MOSTLY, I’M
INTERESTED IN DOING
REAL SPORTS.”
— ESPN President John Skipper
(ESPN later went on to broadcast eSports game
Dota 2 on ESPN 2 and 3. )
AN ALTERNATIVE POINT OF VIEW
“IT DOESN’T MATTER
IF THE OLD GUARD
CONSIDERS IT A SPORT
OR NOT…IT’S A MATTER
OF WHEN, NOT IF.”
— MLG (Major League Gaming) co-founder and
president Mike Sepso
9 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
1) BIG DEALS. Amazon acquires Twitch.tv (a video
game streaming platform) for $970 Million.
2) GOLD MEDALS. For the first time, eSports
game Call of Duty: Ghosts appeared at the popular
ESPN’s X Games in June 2014, where it awarded
the inaugural X Games eSports gold medal.
3) GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION The United
States government recognizes eSports gamers as
professional athletes and began granting gamers
visas to come to the country to play.
4) ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS. It’s official. Robert
Morris University (RMU) became the first University
to recognize video games as a sport under its
athletic department and the first in the nation to offer
video game scholarships.
5) BREAKING RECORDS: League of Legends
Championship Final (October 2013) sold out LA’s
15,000-seat Staples Center in an hour, with and
additional 8.5 million viewers watching via live
stream.
A
CULTURAL
MOVEMENT
THAT IS
CHANGING
EVERYTHING
Source: IGN
Source: Huffington Post
Source: Geek Wire
10 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THE PLAYERS ARE
CELEBRITIES
Photo: “TI4 - Grand Finals” by Dota 2 The International. https://flic.kr/p/oJ9gZ2
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
11 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THEY TRAIN FOR HOURS EACH
DAY, FANS SCREAM THEIR
NAMES, AND MILLIONS WATCH
THEM COMPETE TO BE THE
BEST IN THE WORLD.
Photo: “IMG_7623” by Jakob Wells. https://flic.kr/p/opiXMQ
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
12 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THEY ARE
DEDICATED…
AND TRAIN HARD
PRACTICE
As with any other sport, professional gamers have to
practice, practice, and practice. They train their wrists and
their brains to act simultaneously. They practice game play
“on average three hours a day but it’s not uncommon to hit
upwards of twelve hours.”
FOOD
Gamers eat high-protein foods created by dietitians who
teach them to eat more healthily.
FITNESS
They undergo daily training for physical and mental
dexterity, agility, and to build a healthy body that supports
the heavy gaming lifestyle. Training includes weightlifting,
cardio, yoga, and brain mapping techniques.
Source: New York Times
Source: Redbull
Source: Motherboard
13 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THEY LIVE A
RIGOROUS,
ON-THE-GO
LIFESTYLE
LIVING ARRANGEMENTS
Competitive teams live together in gaming houses and
dedicate themselves to long practice hours.
TRAVEL
Highly competitive teams with sponsors travel frequently
and worldwide for tournaments.
ALWAYS ON
To “make it” in eSports requires a unique status that
combines athlete, gamer, and TV celebrity to connect
with fans.
Source: Reddit / Lifestyles
Photo: “Goście Intel Extreme Masters” by Piotr Drabik. https://flic.kr/p/dU4PvC
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
14 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THEY HAVE PAID
SPONSORSHIPS,
FAN CLUBS,
AND SOMETIMES
EVEN GROUPIES.
Matt “Nadeshot” Haag
Call of Duty
Danil “Dendi” Ishutin
Dota 2
Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn
StarCraft 2
Bae “Dade” Eo-jin
League of Legends
Source: A.V.Club
Photo: “IMG_7578” by Jakob Wells, featuring Danii Ishutin. https://flic.kr/p/op9H3d
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
15 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THE PLOT AT TOURNAMENTS IS THE SAME
AS A CHESS MATCH, FOOTBALL GAME, OR
PRESIDENTIAL RACE: IT’S THAT ONE VERSUS
THAT OTHER ONE.
THE GAMES
Photo: “Team rOtk steam-rolled team XBOCT” by Dota 2 The International. https://flic.kr/p/o7BYgn
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
Source: Casual esSports Fan
16 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
eSPORTS COMPETITION:
THE TOP GAMES BY PRIZE
*Prizes awarded to players
# 1 Dota 2
$23,409,636.52ndj
618 Players
# 2 League of Legends
$17,947,201.59
2329 Players
# 3 Starcraft II
$14,430,969.58
1142 Players
# 4 Counter-Strike
$10,470,505.81
2339 Players
# 5 StarCraft: Blood War
$10,470,505.81
384 Players
Source: ESportsEarnings
17 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
EACH GAME REQUIRES A
DIFFERENT COMBINATION OF
SKILLS AND PREPARATION
MULTI PLAYER ONLINE BATTLE ARENA
(GAMES INCLUDE LEAGUE OF LEGENDS, DOTA 2)
- Strong decision-making capabilities and foresight
- Ability to plan, gather, and understand necessary
resources that will provide immediate and long-term
benefits
- Strong keyboard and mouse hand coordination
- Ability to multi-task and micromanage teams
- Keen understanding of when to pull your team back
and replace with stronger players or teams
- Strong hand and eye coordination
- Good memory for maps and power-up
locations and caches
- Visual and spatial awareness
REAL-TIME STRATEGY GAMES (GAMES INCLUDES
STARCRAFT SERIES)
FIRST PERSON SHOOTER GAMES - (GAMES
INCLUDE COUNTER-STRIKE, CALL OF DUTY)
18 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THE DEBATE THAT MAY NEVER
END: PC VS CONSOLE IN
COMPETITIVE GAMING. A TALE OF
TWO PLATFORMS...
TOURNAMENTS AND LEAGUES
Console-based eSports leagues do exist, but not on
the same scale as PC franchises including Dota 2
and League of Legends. Call of Duty (for now) is the
only console game with major tournaments.
PC gaming is the more expensive of the two platforms
to play at the competitive level. High-end gaming
systems can run up to thousands of dollars.
COSTS
The battle between the controller and the joystick vs.
the keyboard and the mouse may be won by the PC.
They keyboard and mouse combination offers increased
accuracy and a better level of detail and control, which
can provide a distinct advantage in competitive play.
SKILLS
Source: Competive Gaming. PC vs Console
19 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THE POPULARITY OF
eSPORTS IS FUELED
BY THE GROWTH OF
ONLINE STREAMING
CHANNELS
Twitch is the world’s leading video platform and community
for gamers, with more than 60 million visitors per month.
It connects gamers around the world by allowing them to
broadcast, watch, and chat from everywhere they play.
TWITCH
MLG
AZUBU
YOUTUBE
Major League Gaming (MLG) is the global leader in eSports.
MLG operates MLG. tv, the #1 online broadcast network for
professional level competitive gaming.
Azubu is a global broadcast network, delivering premium live
and on demand eSports action, programming, news, and
analysis.
Gaming on YouTube ranges from casual to competitive.
Competing streaming services also place their content on
YouTube.
Photo: “To the victors goes the cheese” by Dota 2 The International. https://flic.kr/p/op5adu
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
20 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY
300 MILLION eSPORTS FANS IN
152 COUNTRIES THAT WATCH
GAMES ONLINE THROUGH
STREAMING PLATFORMS
Photo: “Goście Intel Extreme Masters” by Piotr Drabik. https://flic.kr/p/dU4GNj
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
21 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THE CASTERS
Photo:“Podczas Intel Extreme Masters” by Piotr Drabik. https://flic.kr/p/dU4PSq
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
22 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
CASTERS PLAY AN ESSENTIAL
ROLE IN THE eSPORTS SCENE,
PROVIDING INSIGHT, HUMOR,
EXCITEMENT, AND UNIQUE
PERSONALITY TO GAMES THAT
WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE TO
BE ENJOYED ALONE.
Photo: “The Witcher Battle Arena” by download.net.pl - mobile. https://flic.kr/p/r2fqm7
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
23 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
WHO THEY ARE
Former players
Current players as guest commentators
THE JOB
Provide play-by-play and analysis between matches and
games
Create energy and excitement by discussing players’
performance and reviewing some of the best game plays
Offer insights into the mechanics of the game and make the
details of match-ups and key game moments understandable
Ben “Benson “ Bowe (received the first ever O-1 Visa given to an eSports broadcaster.)
StarCraft 2 Caster Leigh John “TotalBiscuit” Bain
Call of Duty caster, Ryan Wyatt (Fwiz)
JOB OF THE
FUTURE ALERT:
CASTERSTHEY MAKE THE GAME INTERESTING AND EXCITING
Source: Millennium
Photo: “Intel Extreme Masters @CeBIT” by Patrick. https://flic.kr/p/7HnqJ2
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
24 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
FANS MAKE
THE GAME
SPECIAL
Photo: “Blizzcon 2010” by Michael Carian. https://flic.kr/p/97Nwbg
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
25 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
AFFLUENT AND
OVERWHELMING MALE
THE U.S. FANBASE
31.4 MILLION
70% MALE
30% FEMALE
AGES 21 - 35
Photo: “League of Legends Season 3 Finals” by artubr https://flic.kr/p/ihAuCV
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
Source: eSports: Digital Games Brief, April 2014 | SuperData Research www.superdataresearch.com
26 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THEY ARE SOCIALLY SAVVY AND
CONNECTED GAME STREAMERS ACTIVELY SHARE THEIR PERSONAL
LIVES VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
27 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
A CULTURE IN WHICH TRASH TALK
AND GAME APPRECIATION EXIST
AT THE SAME TIMEeSports CHAT ROOMS for fan interaction has been one of the more defining aspects of eSports
culture. The accessibility to pro-players’ opinions via chat rooms increases engagement, and
sometimes anxiety.
28 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
FOR FANS, IT’S MORE THAN A
GAME…
IT’S A COMMUNITYDuring non-game hours, game streamers are often socializing in live
chat-rooms on platforms like Twitch
They talk about their personal lives - fashion, food, music, and more –
and the game.
-
-
29 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
COSPLAY
Especially for female fans,
costuming for their favorite game
is a passion.
Jessica Nigri Akatsuki Tsukasa
Photo: “League of Legends Cosplay” by artubr. https://flic.kr/p/dknjyV
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
30 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
FANS ENJOY
THE eSPORTS
EXPERIENCE
IN VENUES
AND ARENAS
Photo: “Fan made signs” by artubr. https://flic.kr/p/dknp6C
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
31 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THEY HAVE THEIR OWN GAMING
STUDIOS AND DEDICATED SPORTS
AND TRAINING FACILITIES
MLG.TV ARENA - COLUMBUS, OH
At 14,000 square feet, Major League Gaming’s new eSports
arena. Features bleacher seating, soundproof booths for
players, a broadcast platform for live commentating, spectator
screens, and warm-up areas for players.
Photo: “Evil Geniuses” by Minyoung Choi. https://flic.kr/p/a9GVLa
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
32 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
…AND SELL OUT
MAJOR SPORTS
ARENAS
Riot Games sold out the 18,000 seats Staples Center in Los Angeles for the League of
Legends Championship Series within an hour 10,000 seats for DOTA International were sold for the event at Seattle’s Key Arena. Tickets
sold out within half hour after going on sale.
Photo: “League of Legends Season 2 World Championship finals panorama” https://flic.kr/p/dkngsZ
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
Source: Redbull
Source: Dotatalk
TEAM WE eSPORTS CAMPUS - SHANGHAI, CHINA
Team We, one of China’s earliest and largest professional
e-sports groups, recently opened a new eSports traning
campus in Shanghai to nurture and develop up and coming
talent. It includes both classrooms and dorms.
RED BULL eSPORTS STUDIO IN SANTA MONICA, CA
33 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
SELECT BRANDS:
THE EARLY PIONEERS
Photo: “Gamescom 2014” by Tim Bartel. https://flic.kr/p/oHmJmM
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
34 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
READY TO EXPLORE
THE BUSINESS IMPLICATIONS
OF eSPORTS?
Photo: “Azubu frost” by artubr. https://flic.kr/p/dknqxE
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
35 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY.
EVERYTHING A BRAND WOULD
NEED IN A SPONSORSHIP
BIG FAN PASSION
AND FERVOR
BIG MONEY
$
BIG AUDIENCES BIG PERSONALTIES
36 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
5 WAYS TO GET INVOLVEDAUTHENTICALLY CONNECT WITH PASSIONATE AUDIENCES ALL
OVER THE WORLD
“eSPORTS IS PROBABLY GOING TO
BE MORE CULTURALLY RELEVANT
TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF KIDS
THAN ANY OTHER SPORT.”
— Jason Xu, founder and chief executive of Vancouver’s Battlefy
37 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Embrace the opportunity to partner with game developers, eSports organizers, and broadcasters
to create brand sponsored tournaments. Brands can advance their story by creating content,
prizes, and platforms that allow new fan engagement as well as player and gameplay
development. This creates a natural way to integrate products and services.
EXAMPLE: INTEL EXTREME MASTERS WORLDWIDE TOURNAMENT
1. CREATE EXCLUSIVE PLATFORM SPONSORSHIPS
Photo: “Puchar IEM” by Piotr Drabik. https://flic.kr/p/dU4GpS
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
38 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Embrace the opportunity to support and develop key players and eSport teams. Provide access
to coaches and resources that will allow players to design and develop the skills they need to
participate at the highest levels. Work with leagues and organizers to create paths to turn from
casual to amateur to professional gamer.
EXAMPLES: NISSAN SPONSORSHIP OF TEAM CURSE + COKE ZERO LEAGUE OF LEGENDS PLAYER
DEVELOPMENT TOURNAMENT
2. GET ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH GAMERS
“Final Intel Extreme Masters World Best Gamers League of Legends” by Camila Cunha/indice-
foto via Campus Party Brasil. https://www.flickr.com/photos/campuspartybrasil/8439721002/
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
39 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Partner with official eSports organizations to sponsor events at conferences, festivals, and on
college campuses. Create official eSports college chapters and provide funding, access to
promotional materials, event production equipment, and customized banners. Create the next
generation of eSports brand ambassadors. Sponsor online video series sharing eSports stories
about local teams.
EXAMPLE: BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT MEMBERSHIP MILESTONE PROGRAM
3. DEVELOP LOCAL AND REGIONAL EVENTS
Photo: “20131108_083529” by Glenn Batuyong https://flic.kr/p/huNScQ
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
Source: http://www.eslgaming.com/interview/helena-kristiansson-esports-photography-and-joining-esl-full-time-photographer
40 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Work with online broadcast channel partners (e.g. Twitch, Major League Gaming, etc.) to create
original content and tell brand stories that highlight fan and player stories – thereby advancing the
eSports lifestyle. Become official sponsors of select eSports casters and create programs and
contests to find and develop the next casters.
EXAMPLE: X GAMES SPONSORSHIP
4. CONTENT PUBLISHER AND PRODUCER
Photo: “X Games 17 @ L.A. Live” by Gerald Geronimo https://flic.kr/p/a8bC1a
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
Source: Wired
41 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Embrace and create branded boutique broadcast training and practice facilities. (e.g. Red Bull
Studios) Leverage any existing or temporary brick and mortar spaces for eSports training and
development. Become a key sponsor or host for one of the major tournaments in arenas across
the country
EXAMPLE: RED BULL
5. STUDIO RIGHTS/EVENT SPONSORSHIP
Photo: “Final Intel Extreme Masters World Best Gamers League of Legends” by Camila Cunha/indicefoto via Campus Party Brasil.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/campuspartybrasil/8438629351/
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
Source: Teamliquid
42 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
DON’T SIT ON THE SIDELINES.
GET INVOLVED.
Photo: Roy Hibbert
43 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
CAN HELP YOU GET STARTED
Photo: “IMG_0331” by erocsid https://flic.kr/p/d3sXbm
Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
44 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
SCANNING THE WORLD FOR CULTUREJOIN US. EVERY DAY FROM 12-1PM EST WE HOLD A CULTURE BRIEFING IN OUR NYC OFFICES TO
DISCUSS THE DAY’S MOST IMPORTANT 30-40 CULTURAL SIGNALS (CULLED FROM 10,000 SIGNALS
FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD). WE SPEND THE HOUR CONNECTING THE SIGNALS TO OUR CLIENTS’
BUSINESS — I.E., HOW DOES THE SIGNAL IMPACT STRATEGY, INNOVATION, AND CONTENT?
THE RIGOR OF DOING THIS EVERY DAY ALLOWS US TO SEE PATTERNS AND MAKE HORIZONTAL
CONNECTIONS (THINK: CULTURAL “MUSCLE MEMORY”) WHICH ENABLES US TO FORMULATE AN
INFORMED POV ON WHERE THE WORLD IS HEADED, AND WHY.
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
45 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE
Social & Cultural Listening
Competitive Intelligence & War
Gaming
Segment Analysis & Tracking
Topic Deep Dives
Event Tracking
Issue Monitoring
Real-time Burst Identification
Channel Analysis
Content & Influencer Strategy
Editorial & Cultural Calendars
INNOVATION
Macro Trend Identification &
Quantification
Projecting Segments into the
Future (Consumers of the Future)
Product, Service & Packaging
Development
Business Model Design &
Reimagination
Business Context Analysis
Futurism
Whitespace Identification
Brand/Partner & Acquisition
Recommendations
CONTENT & DISTRIBUTION
Pre-Planned (70/30) Content Pro-
duction - Online and Offline
Real-Time Content Production
Real-Time Commerce
Social Media Content (short and
long form) - posts, tweets, vines,
videos, blogs, etc.
Community Management
Influencer Outreach
Channel Optimization & Fan Base
Development
Analytics & Measurement
Real-Time Media Amplification
AGENCY OF RELEVANCE
CULTURAL STRATEGY AT THE CORE
BRANDS
SOCIAL
AGENCY
EVENT
MARKETING
AGENCY
AD
AGENCY
SEARCH
AGENCY
DIGITAL
AGENCY
PR
AGENCY
POWERED BY
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46 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved.
Sign up on our website to receive updates and future reports:
www.sparksandhoney.com
For more information:
212.894.5100
info@sparksandhoney.com
@sparksandhoney
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facebook.com/sparksandhoney
OPENING MINDS & CREATING POSSIBILITIES

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eSports: The Biggest Sport You've Probably Never Heard Of

  • 1. THE BIGGEST SPORT YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER HEARD OF eSPORTS: “The International at KeyArena” by Dota 2 The International. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dota2ti/14919879595/ Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 2. 2 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THE NUMBERS Photo: Dota “TI4 Grand Finals” by Dota 2 The International. https://www.flickr.com/photos/dota2ti/14733229938/in/photost- ream/ / Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 3. 3 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THE PEOPLE ARE HERE. An explosive trend of millions of fans around the world watching people play video games. 71 Million The number of people who watch competitive video gaming as a spectator sport. Source: Sizing & Profiling eSports’ Popularity | NEWZOO Market Research April 2014
  • 4. 4 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. VIEWERSHIP FREQUENCY AND ENGAGEMENT TIMES ARE STAGGERING AND UNPARALLELED. Source: eSports: Digital Games Brief, April 2014 | SuperData Research www.superdataresearch.com Tweaktown / HIS Technology Report 2013 US eSPORTS VIEWER ACTIVITY,2013 BASED ON SUPERDATA SURVEY DATA 2.2 hours 19 times AN AVERAGE eSPORTS VIEWING SESSIONS LASTS: ON AVERAGE PER MONTH, VIEWERS WATCH eSPORTS: 2.4 billion hours THE AMOUNT OF eSPORTS FOOTAGE WATCHED ONLINE IN 2013 ONE QUARTER WATCH EVERY DAY ATTEND LIVE EVENTS
  • 5. 5 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. OVERWHELMINGLY WINNING THE FAN VIEWERSHIP BATTLE VIEWERS OF SPORTS EVENTS MLB WORLD SERIES NCAA BASKETBALL FINAL FOUR (AVERAGE) NBA FINALS (GAME 7) BCS NATIONALS CHAMPIONSHIPS LEAGUE OF LEGENDS SEASON 3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 14.9 15.7 26.3 26.4 32.0 eSports: Digital Games Brief, April 2014 | SuperData Research www.superdataresearch.com
  • 6. 6 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THE MONEY IS HERE $25 Million The amount of money awarded in 2013 as prizes to professional gamers from sponsors and crowdsourcing prize packages. Photo: “Blizzcon 2011 - Saturday” by Brendan C. https://flic.kr/p/aygWNZ Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB “Blizzcon 2011 - Friday” by Brendan C. https://flic.kr/p/axWScq Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 7. 7 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. With millions of people already playing video games and the popularity of video game competition rising, gamers developed an interest in watching others play for fun, while learning tips to improve their play and witnessing pro-gamers showcasing their skills. eSports organizations recognized this trend and created platforms for people to participate and watch. The dramatic rise of game streaming services like Twitch, ESL, and MLG created communities between players and fans. Then came the big prize money. The professional game casters. Video games broadcast on major networks. Huge, sold-out crowds. Brand sponsorships. And from the beginning, unrelentingly passionate fans. A perfect sport that fulfills the cultural need to be the hero, to be part of a community as both participant and spectator and experience the thrill of victory. “WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE LIMITS ARE.”— James Lampkin, product manager for ESL (Electronic Sports League) eSports is experiencing an explosion in popularity Photo: “Cloud 9 Takes on Vici Gaming” by Dota 2 The International. https://flic.kr/p/onnWS7 Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 9. 8 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THE ARGUMENT: IS IT OR ISN’T IT A SPORT? A POINT A VIEW “IT’S NOT A SPORT — IT’S A COMPETITION… MOSTLY, I’M INTERESTED IN DOING REAL SPORTS.” — ESPN President John Skipper (ESPN later went on to broadcast eSports game Dota 2 on ESPN 2 and 3. ) AN ALTERNATIVE POINT OF VIEW “IT DOESN’T MATTER IF THE OLD GUARD CONSIDERS IT A SPORT OR NOT…IT’S A MATTER OF WHEN, NOT IF.” — MLG (Major League Gaming) co-founder and president Mike Sepso
  • 10. 9 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. 1) BIG DEALS. Amazon acquires Twitch.tv (a video game streaming platform) for $970 Million. 2) GOLD MEDALS. For the first time, eSports game Call of Duty: Ghosts appeared at the popular ESPN’s X Games in June 2014, where it awarded the inaugural X Games eSports gold medal. 3) GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION The United States government recognizes eSports gamers as professional athletes and began granting gamers visas to come to the country to play. 4) ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS. It’s official. Robert Morris University (RMU) became the first University to recognize video games as a sport under its athletic department and the first in the nation to offer video game scholarships. 5) BREAKING RECORDS: League of Legends Championship Final (October 2013) sold out LA’s 15,000-seat Staples Center in an hour, with and additional 8.5 million viewers watching via live stream. A CULTURAL MOVEMENT THAT IS CHANGING EVERYTHING Source: IGN Source: Huffington Post Source: Geek Wire
  • 11. 10 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THE PLAYERS ARE CELEBRITIES Photo: “TI4 - Grand Finals” by Dota 2 The International. https://flic.kr/p/oJ9gZ2 Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 12. 11 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THEY TRAIN FOR HOURS EACH DAY, FANS SCREAM THEIR NAMES, AND MILLIONS WATCH THEM COMPETE TO BE THE BEST IN THE WORLD. Photo: “IMG_7623” by Jakob Wells. https://flic.kr/p/opiXMQ Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 13. 12 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THEY ARE DEDICATED… AND TRAIN HARD PRACTICE As with any other sport, professional gamers have to practice, practice, and practice. They train their wrists and their brains to act simultaneously. They practice game play “on average three hours a day but it’s not uncommon to hit upwards of twelve hours.” FOOD Gamers eat high-protein foods created by dietitians who teach them to eat more healthily. FITNESS They undergo daily training for physical and mental dexterity, agility, and to build a healthy body that supports the heavy gaming lifestyle. Training includes weightlifting, cardio, yoga, and brain mapping techniques. Source: New York Times Source: Redbull Source: Motherboard
  • 14. 13 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THEY LIVE A RIGOROUS, ON-THE-GO LIFESTYLE LIVING ARRANGEMENTS Competitive teams live together in gaming houses and dedicate themselves to long practice hours. TRAVEL Highly competitive teams with sponsors travel frequently and worldwide for tournaments. ALWAYS ON To “make it” in eSports requires a unique status that combines athlete, gamer, and TV celebrity to connect with fans. Source: Reddit / Lifestyles Photo: “Goście Intel Extreme Masters” by Piotr Drabik. https://flic.kr/p/dU4PvC Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 15. 14 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THEY HAVE PAID SPONSORSHIPS, FAN CLUBS, AND SOMETIMES EVEN GROUPIES. Matt “Nadeshot” Haag Call of Duty Danil “Dendi” Ishutin Dota 2 Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn StarCraft 2 Bae “Dade” Eo-jin League of Legends Source: A.V.Club Photo: “IMG_7578” by Jakob Wells, featuring Danii Ishutin. https://flic.kr/p/op9H3d Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 16. 15 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THE PLOT AT TOURNAMENTS IS THE SAME AS A CHESS MATCH, FOOTBALL GAME, OR PRESIDENTIAL RACE: IT’S THAT ONE VERSUS THAT OTHER ONE. THE GAMES Photo: “Team rOtk steam-rolled team XBOCT” by Dota 2 The International. https://flic.kr/p/o7BYgn Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB Source: Casual esSports Fan
  • 17. 16 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. eSPORTS COMPETITION: THE TOP GAMES BY PRIZE *Prizes awarded to players # 1 Dota 2 $23,409,636.52ndj 618 Players # 2 League of Legends $17,947,201.59 2329 Players # 3 Starcraft II $14,430,969.58 1142 Players # 4 Counter-Strike $10,470,505.81 2339 Players # 5 StarCraft: Blood War $10,470,505.81 384 Players Source: ESportsEarnings
  • 18. 17 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. EACH GAME REQUIRES A DIFFERENT COMBINATION OF SKILLS AND PREPARATION MULTI PLAYER ONLINE BATTLE ARENA (GAMES INCLUDE LEAGUE OF LEGENDS, DOTA 2) - Strong decision-making capabilities and foresight - Ability to plan, gather, and understand necessary resources that will provide immediate and long-term benefits - Strong keyboard and mouse hand coordination - Ability to multi-task and micromanage teams - Keen understanding of when to pull your team back and replace with stronger players or teams - Strong hand and eye coordination - Good memory for maps and power-up locations and caches - Visual and spatial awareness REAL-TIME STRATEGY GAMES (GAMES INCLUDES STARCRAFT SERIES) FIRST PERSON SHOOTER GAMES - (GAMES INCLUDE COUNTER-STRIKE, CALL OF DUTY)
  • 19. 18 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THE DEBATE THAT MAY NEVER END: PC VS CONSOLE IN COMPETITIVE GAMING. A TALE OF TWO PLATFORMS... TOURNAMENTS AND LEAGUES Console-based eSports leagues do exist, but not on the same scale as PC franchises including Dota 2 and League of Legends. Call of Duty (for now) is the only console game with major tournaments. PC gaming is the more expensive of the two platforms to play at the competitive level. High-end gaming systems can run up to thousands of dollars. COSTS The battle between the controller and the joystick vs. the keyboard and the mouse may be won by the PC. They keyboard and mouse combination offers increased accuracy and a better level of detail and control, which can provide a distinct advantage in competitive play. SKILLS Source: Competive Gaming. PC vs Console
  • 20. 19 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THE POPULARITY OF eSPORTS IS FUELED BY THE GROWTH OF ONLINE STREAMING CHANNELS Twitch is the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers, with more than 60 million visitors per month. It connects gamers around the world by allowing them to broadcast, watch, and chat from everywhere they play. TWITCH MLG AZUBU YOUTUBE Major League Gaming (MLG) is the global leader in eSports. MLG operates MLG. tv, the #1 online broadcast network for professional level competitive gaming. Azubu is a global broadcast network, delivering premium live and on demand eSports action, programming, news, and analysis. Gaming on YouTube ranges from casual to competitive. Competing streaming services also place their content on YouTube. Photo: “To the victors goes the cheese” by Dota 2 The International. https://flic.kr/p/op5adu Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 21. 20 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THERE ARE APPROXIMATELY 300 MILLION eSPORTS FANS IN 152 COUNTRIES THAT WATCH GAMES ONLINE THROUGH STREAMING PLATFORMS Photo: “Goście Intel Extreme Masters” by Piotr Drabik. https://flic.kr/p/dU4GNj Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 22. 21 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THE CASTERS Photo:“Podczas Intel Extreme Masters” by Piotr Drabik. https://flic.kr/p/dU4PSq Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 23. 22 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. CASTERS PLAY AN ESSENTIAL ROLE IN THE eSPORTS SCENE, PROVIDING INSIGHT, HUMOR, EXCITEMENT, AND UNIQUE PERSONALITY TO GAMES THAT WOULD OTHERWISE HAVE TO BE ENJOYED ALONE. Photo: “The Witcher Battle Arena” by download.net.pl - mobile. https://flic.kr/p/r2fqm7 Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 24. 23 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. WHO THEY ARE Former players Current players as guest commentators THE JOB Provide play-by-play and analysis between matches and games Create energy and excitement by discussing players’ performance and reviewing some of the best game plays Offer insights into the mechanics of the game and make the details of match-ups and key game moments understandable Ben “Benson “ Bowe (received the first ever O-1 Visa given to an eSports broadcaster.) StarCraft 2 Caster Leigh John “TotalBiscuit” Bain Call of Duty caster, Ryan Wyatt (Fwiz) JOB OF THE FUTURE ALERT: CASTERSTHEY MAKE THE GAME INTERESTING AND EXCITING Source: Millennium Photo: “Intel Extreme Masters @CeBIT” by Patrick. https://flic.kr/p/7HnqJ2 Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 25. 24 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. FANS MAKE THE GAME SPECIAL Photo: “Blizzcon 2010” by Michael Carian. https://flic.kr/p/97Nwbg Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 26. 25 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. AFFLUENT AND OVERWHELMING MALE THE U.S. FANBASE 31.4 MILLION 70% MALE 30% FEMALE AGES 21 - 35 Photo: “League of Legends Season 3 Finals” by artubr https://flic.kr/p/ihAuCV Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB Source: eSports: Digital Games Brief, April 2014 | SuperData Research www.superdataresearch.com
  • 27. 26 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THEY ARE SOCIALLY SAVVY AND CONNECTED GAME STREAMERS ACTIVELY SHARE THEIR PERSONAL LIVES VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
  • 28. 27 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. A CULTURE IN WHICH TRASH TALK AND GAME APPRECIATION EXIST AT THE SAME TIMEeSports CHAT ROOMS for fan interaction has been one of the more defining aspects of eSports culture. The accessibility to pro-players’ opinions via chat rooms increases engagement, and sometimes anxiety.
  • 29. 28 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. FOR FANS, IT’S MORE THAN A GAME… IT’S A COMMUNITYDuring non-game hours, game streamers are often socializing in live chat-rooms on platforms like Twitch They talk about their personal lives - fashion, food, music, and more – and the game. - -
  • 30. 29 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. COSPLAY Especially for female fans, costuming for their favorite game is a passion. Jessica Nigri Akatsuki Tsukasa Photo: “League of Legends Cosplay” by artubr. https://flic.kr/p/dknjyV Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 31. 30 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. FANS ENJOY THE eSPORTS EXPERIENCE IN VENUES AND ARENAS Photo: “Fan made signs” by artubr. https://flic.kr/p/dknp6C Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 32. 31 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THEY HAVE THEIR OWN GAMING STUDIOS AND DEDICATED SPORTS AND TRAINING FACILITIES MLG.TV ARENA - COLUMBUS, OH At 14,000 square feet, Major League Gaming’s new eSports arena. Features bleacher seating, soundproof booths for players, a broadcast platform for live commentating, spectator screens, and warm-up areas for players. Photo: “Evil Geniuses” by Minyoung Choi. https://flic.kr/p/a9GVLa Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 33. 32 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. …AND SELL OUT MAJOR SPORTS ARENAS Riot Games sold out the 18,000 seats Staples Center in Los Angeles for the League of Legends Championship Series within an hour 10,000 seats for DOTA International were sold for the event at Seattle’s Key Arena. Tickets sold out within half hour after going on sale. Photo: “League of Legends Season 2 World Championship finals panorama” https://flic.kr/p/dkngsZ Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB Source: Redbull Source: Dotatalk TEAM WE eSPORTS CAMPUS - SHANGHAI, CHINA Team We, one of China’s earliest and largest professional e-sports groups, recently opened a new eSports traning campus in Shanghai to nurture and develop up and coming talent. It includes both classrooms and dorms. RED BULL eSPORTS STUDIO IN SANTA MONICA, CA
  • 34. 33 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. SELECT BRANDS: THE EARLY PIONEERS Photo: “Gamescom 2014” by Tim Bartel. https://flic.kr/p/oHmJmM Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 35. 34 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. READY TO EXPLORE THE BUSINESS IMPLICATIONS OF eSPORTS? Photo: “Azubu frost” by artubr. https://flic.kr/p/dknqxE Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 36. 35 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY. EVERYTHING A BRAND WOULD NEED IN A SPONSORSHIP BIG FAN PASSION AND FERVOR BIG MONEY $ BIG AUDIENCES BIG PERSONALTIES
  • 37. 36 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. 5 WAYS TO GET INVOLVEDAUTHENTICALLY CONNECT WITH PASSIONATE AUDIENCES ALL OVER THE WORLD “eSPORTS IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE MORE CULTURALLY RELEVANT TO THE NEXT GENERATION OF KIDS THAN ANY OTHER SPORT.” — Jason Xu, founder and chief executive of Vancouver’s Battlefy
  • 38. 37 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. Embrace the opportunity to partner with game developers, eSports organizers, and broadcasters to create brand sponsored tournaments. Brands can advance their story by creating content, prizes, and platforms that allow new fan engagement as well as player and gameplay development. This creates a natural way to integrate products and services. EXAMPLE: INTEL EXTREME MASTERS WORLDWIDE TOURNAMENT 1. CREATE EXCLUSIVE PLATFORM SPONSORSHIPS Photo: “Puchar IEM” by Piotr Drabik. https://flic.kr/p/dU4GpS Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 39. 38 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. Embrace the opportunity to support and develop key players and eSport teams. Provide access to coaches and resources that will allow players to design and develop the skills they need to participate at the highest levels. Work with leagues and organizers to create paths to turn from casual to amateur to professional gamer. EXAMPLES: NISSAN SPONSORSHIP OF TEAM CURSE + COKE ZERO LEAGUE OF LEGENDS PLAYER DEVELOPMENT TOURNAMENT 2. GET ACTIVELY INVOLVED WITH GAMERS “Final Intel Extreme Masters World Best Gamers League of Legends” by Camila Cunha/indice- foto via Campus Party Brasil. https://www.flickr.com/photos/campuspartybrasil/8439721002/ Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 40. 39 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. Partner with official eSports organizations to sponsor events at conferences, festivals, and on college campuses. Create official eSports college chapters and provide funding, access to promotional materials, event production equipment, and customized banners. Create the next generation of eSports brand ambassadors. Sponsor online video series sharing eSports stories about local teams. EXAMPLE: BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT MEMBERSHIP MILESTONE PROGRAM 3. DEVELOP LOCAL AND REGIONAL EVENTS Photo: “20131108_083529” by Glenn Batuyong https://flic.kr/p/huNScQ Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB Source: http://www.eslgaming.com/interview/helena-kristiansson-esports-photography-and-joining-esl-full-time-photographer
  • 41. 40 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. Work with online broadcast channel partners (e.g. Twitch, Major League Gaming, etc.) to create original content and tell brand stories that highlight fan and player stories – thereby advancing the eSports lifestyle. Become official sponsors of select eSports casters and create programs and contests to find and develop the next casters. EXAMPLE: X GAMES SPONSORSHIP 4. CONTENT PUBLISHER AND PRODUCER Photo: “X Games 17 @ L.A. Live” by Gerald Geronimo https://flic.kr/p/a8bC1a Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB Source: Wired
  • 42. 41 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. Embrace and create branded boutique broadcast training and practice facilities. (e.g. Red Bull Studios) Leverage any existing or temporary brick and mortar spaces for eSports training and development. Become a key sponsor or host for one of the major tournaments in arenas across the country EXAMPLE: RED BULL 5. STUDIO RIGHTS/EVENT SPONSORSHIP Photo: “Final Intel Extreme Masters World Best Gamers League of Legends” by Camila Cunha/indicefoto via Campus Party Brasil. https://www.flickr.com/photos/campuspartybrasil/8438629351/ Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB Source: Teamliquid
  • 43. 42 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. DON’T SIT ON THE SIDELINES. GET INVOLVED. Photo: Roy Hibbert
  • 44. 43 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. CAN HELP YOU GET STARTED Photo: “IMG_0331” by erocsid https://flic.kr/p/d3sXbm Licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en_GB
  • 45. 44 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. SCANNING THE WORLD FOR CULTUREJOIN US. EVERY DAY FROM 12-1PM EST WE HOLD A CULTURE BRIEFING IN OUR NYC OFFICES TO DISCUSS THE DAY’S MOST IMPORTANT 30-40 CULTURAL SIGNALS (CULLED FROM 10,000 SIGNALS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD). WE SPEND THE HOUR CONNECTING THE SIGNALS TO OUR CLIENTS’ BUSINESS — I.E., HOW DOES THE SIGNAL IMPACT STRATEGY, INNOVATION, AND CONTENT? THE RIGOR OF DOING THIS EVERY DAY ALLOWS US TO SEE PATTERNS AND MAKE HORIZONTAL CONNECTIONS (THINK: CULTURAL “MUSCLE MEMORY”) WHICH ENABLES US TO FORMULATE AN INFORMED POV ON WHERE THE WORLD IS HEADED, AND WHY.
  • 47. 45 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE Social & Cultural Listening Competitive Intelligence & War Gaming Segment Analysis & Tracking Topic Deep Dives Event Tracking Issue Monitoring Real-time Burst Identification Channel Analysis Content & Influencer Strategy Editorial & Cultural Calendars INNOVATION Macro Trend Identification & Quantification Projecting Segments into the Future (Consumers of the Future) Product, Service & Packaging Development Business Model Design & Reimagination Business Context Analysis Futurism Whitespace Identification Brand/Partner & Acquisition Recommendations CONTENT & DISTRIBUTION Pre-Planned (70/30) Content Pro- duction - Online and Offline Real-Time Content Production Real-Time Commerce Social Media Content (short and long form) - posts, tweets, vines, videos, blogs, etc. Community Management Influencer Outreach Channel Optimization & Fan Base Development Analytics & Measurement Real-Time Media Amplification AGENCY OF RELEVANCE CULTURAL STRATEGY AT THE CORE BRANDS SOCIAL AGENCY EVENT MARKETING AGENCY AD AGENCY SEARCH AGENCY DIGITAL AGENCY PR AGENCY POWERED BY - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  • 48. 46 | © sparks & honey, 2014. All Rights Reserved. Sign up on our website to receive updates and future reports: www.sparksandhoney.com For more information: 212.894.5100 info@sparksandhoney.com @sparksandhoney bigthink.com/blogs/amped facebook.com/sparksandhoney OPENING MINDS & CREATING POSSIBILITIES