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Engaging with Esports Audiences--What Brands Need to Know

Learn more about the esports streaming and brand engagement at Streaming Media East 2022.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Matt Arden: I think it goes back to this, particularly with esports. And I think we're all facing it with our audiences, that people can't forget and brands can't forget. And we have to educate brands on this, that the esports communities grew out of grassroots efforts. So this isn't mainstream television watching. This is a much different audience that engages much differently. And so we've had a lot of really fruitful conversations with our sponsors about moving from transactional to experiential and emotional. Even if you can't get experiential, obviously with COVID you know, we wanna create emotional bonds. And I think we've had great success with talking our partners about how brands can bring things to life for our audiences that give value to the audience that provide value to the experience. And that's a longer conversation than sampling. That's not walking to an arena and being like, "Oh, there's a Coke in front of me, but oh, there's also a free Pepsi I can try. Great. I guess I'll try Pepsi."

It's different than that. Esports audiences in particular are digital-native-first audiences. They want to make sure that the brands engaging are providing value to their experience and supporting the thing that they know is looking for funding is looking for support needs, longtail support, and they are willing to double down on that regard to say, "Hey, look, for us--AT&T's a huge sponsor of the 2K league, and man, they keep the 2K league running, they support the 2K league. They helped make content during COVID. They provided services so we could do our documentary series. It wasn't about throwing AT&T's logo on a piece of content. AT&T literally became co-executive producers of our longform YouTube series Locked In because we needed connectivity. We needed cellphones to capture video. We couldn't send crews on the road, and they jumped in. They were like, "Let's be EPs together." That kind of stuff, I think, as we go forward is gonna have so much more value to brand, to league, or to product. And more importantly, to the fans. They will support that brand longterm if the brand supports them longterm.

Patrick Dees: So true.

Jeff Jacobs: That's so good. And it's so interesting how technology's becoming more about our partners, not our vendors. That's been going on for some time. So again, some out of necessity, some out of opportunity.

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