The Drum speaks to Stéphane Gambetta, Reed MIDEM development director to understand this new growing market for marketers…
Stéphane, you are here today to share a few insights on the growing sector of esports. But first, tell us who you are and why you can respond to this challenging question for marketers?
I work for Reed MIDEM, which is a leading event organizing company, part of the Reed Exhibition group that organizes events like PAX and MIPCOM for example. I am the head of the new business activities within the entertainment division of the company, and I’ve been spending the last few years to develop new b2b events to mingle esports leaders with brands and media that want to interact in esports.
Why do you think esports is now a major challenge for brands and media? Why should it be at the centre of next strategies?
We truly believe that esports is the future of entertainment therefore an amazing opportunity for brands and media, to promote, reach digital natives, develop new content concepts. For a while now, we’ve seen more and more non endemic brands and media taking part in the game with broadcasting, content creation, live events with music and performances, sponsored teams and events. Esports stars are now becoming brand ambassadors, more and more competition are being held across the world with more sponsors, this offers a major outside reach and many possibilities. It is also a great means to reach young audiences and enable brands to connect with them. Digital natives are very engaged online and less involved via traditional marketing and advertising methods.
That’s why we’ve created Esports BAR, the world's business events where top-management esports executives and non-endemic leaders meet to shape esports’ future.
And indeed, you’ve got a certain success, as you do two shows per year.
Yes, we have one event in Cannes in February, and one in Miami in September/October, the next one in Cannes next February. We also have several brands confirmed: Air Asia, Adidas, Daimler, Dominos Pizza, Feed, Fiat, Herbalife, Lotto, Nike, Shell, Telepizza, Visa, and many more are to come!
To read more: https://cannes.the-esports-bar.com/en-gb.html
And you do a lot to educate brands & agencies?
Exactly, we focus a lot on brands and agencies to help them understand esports and embrace all the amazing opportunities esports could provide them. During our shows we offer mentoring sessions with face-to-face meetings and round-tables workshops. We also have a matchmaking programme which provides each brand executive with an agenda of dedicated 1-to-1 meetings with esports professionals and business insights sessions with keynotes and speakers, all experts and top leaders of esports.
But our contribution goes further than just during shows, all-year round we provide our community in-depth content to understand esports’ mechanism, what’s at stake and also trends and evolutions. Esports is moving quickly it is important to us to provide up-to-date content. We produce articles, videos and many white papers about the industry. Our latest white paper, “What is esports?” is particularly dedicated to brands and agencies.
To download the white paper “What is esports?”: https://reedmidem.formstack.com/forms/mediatainment_esports_bar_what_is_esports
What advice would you give to a non-endemic brand or media that wishes to enter or invest in esports?
Entering and investing in esports asks for a good knowledge of the industry and how it works. This what we provide to attendees of our events. We do a lot of mentoring to provide with a real in-depth understanding of the do’s and don’ts. Top experts of the industry will be providing workshops, individual meetings and all sorts of networking opportunities to those who wish to know more.
Entering esports must be considered not just like a product placement for brands that invest in it. It is about understanding the sector, to cooperate with the key players, and be part of a common storytelling. To have the fans feeling the brand is not there just to make money and advertisement, a brand needs to feel, love, and be passionate like fans.