· The key needs to the largest congress of eSports in Spain: monetization, traditional sports, and regulation
· Real Betis, a client from Esportia, was one of the leading clubs of GES19
Esports are growing quickly and we’re seeing more and more business events with a focus on the sector. This week, the Global Esports Summit took place and Esportia was there. Held in Madrid, event goers discussed important concepts that everyone working in esports should keep in mind for the future including talks surrounding monetization, entry of traditional sports, and regulation.
Monetization and traditional sport
Electronic sports are still a field where investment is key since they are still trying to build sustainable business models based mainly on sponsorships. Executives from some of the most relevant esports clubs in Spain pointed out that, “brands don’t approach because there are no clear structures.”
For most entities, it’s a constantly changing world and panelists broke down the criteria for participation in one video game or another, and the audience and the relevance of those games. “You have to have the agility to assemble and disassemble teams,” was one of the most common refrains.
Regarding the generation of resources, it was also agreed that it’s difficult to see income from the commercialization of audiovisual rights and that the main engines of esports are free digital channels such as Twitch and YouTube.
As for sponsorships, representatives from the ESLP pointed out that, “traditional sports and esports have the same problems in terms of sponsorship. There are no differences in basketball or electronic sports, the question is whether you can apply them creatively.”
However, several marketing managers indicated that “brands and investors are confused because the sector is growing fast and they are not investing enough. It’s necessary to have franchise players since one of the ways to promote awareness is through influencers.”
Regulation is a particularly muddy area for the sector. Some managers prefer not to put barriers between the world of esports and the free market while others are in favor of regulating the sector slightly to protect players, clubs, and competitions. Of course, most actors in esports are far from having a regulatory model as robust as traditional sports.
Real Betis, Protagonists of GES19
One of Esportia’s clients, Real Betis Balompie, was present at the Global Esports Summit. The general director of business, Ramon Alarcon, was one of the participants in the round-table discussion, “Esports & Gaming, the New Fan Experience in Esports.” Alarcon stressed that “the customer experience is paramount in all actions carried out by the club,” and also that “the customer is always right and more in esports.”
In this sense, he explained that Betis is considering entering other games that go beyond soccer simulators and that, “if you don’t listen to the community, the model does not work, and they’re the ones with the courage to make games work.”