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The business of esports is expanding and it’s hardly just about hardware makers and game developers only. A number of non-endemic brands, from airlines to beverages makers, to food caters all want a piece of the pie, and they are meeting at Esports BAR Cannes to discuss just that.
Esports Bar Cannes to Talk Business with Brands
Earlier this year, Charles Travail took an interview from Major League (MLG) co-founder and now former Activision Blizzard SVP Mike Sepso. In it, Mr. Sepso discussed how esports are increasingly starting to resemble mainstream sporting events, both in terms of a competitive format and the business opportunities for third parties thereof.
Mr. Sepso, though, pointed out that if any non-endemic brand is to succeed in advertising to gamers, they would need to be completely frank about their offer. He pointed out that gamers and esports fans are intelligent and have plenty of disposable income, but they don’t want to be advertised products under false pretenses.
Don’t try to pretend you are part of the community if you are not. It’s okay to just sell cars or beverages and people know why you are there. – MLG Co-Founder Mike Sepso
This is precisely what the Esports BAR Cannes is seeking to achieve. The forum will reunite the likes of AirAsia, a low-cost airline with strong esports ties, Domino’s Pizza and telecoms company Orange. All of these and more will attend the February’s Esports Bar forum in Cannes.
It’s the fifth edition of the event, which unites mostly non-endemic brands that want to break into the esports industry and benefit from adding new customers. The forum will be held from February 12 through February 14 with the emphasis on non-gaming businesses.
According to Jérôme Delhaye, Director of Entertainment at Reed Midem, an event organizer in charge of the Esports BAR, brands need to understand why esports matter and why they can’t afford to miss out on this opportunity.
“Entering esports means understanding the sector. Cooperating with the key players and being part of a common story. – Reed Midem’s Jérôme Delhaye
Mr. Delhaye has confirmed what Mr. Sepso outlined in his own take on the industry. Fans must feel that the brand is not there just to benefit financially, but has something in return to offer.
The Esports BAR in Cannes will focus on bridging the gap between the worlds of esports and the industries beyond it and how they can collaborate.
Whether it's through sponsorship or ads, no industry can survive alone. Anthony Nell finds @McDonalds and @BLASTProSeries "the best example of corporate consumer brands placing well thought out media into the public space".
— Esports BAR (@esports_bar) December 17, 2018
As to the keynotes, the panel of speakers will feature a number of experts who have been working on bringing their own brands closer to competitive video gaming, with high-profile executives from Twitch and YouTube, as well as the National Football League (NFL) sharing their thoughts.
Ryan Wyatt from YouTube’s VR and Gaming unit will be one of the noteworthy speakers at the conference.
The NFL has already partially embraced esports signing a partnership with Fortnite to introduce a number of in-game “skins” resembling NFL players outfits. It seems only appropriate that Matt Schnider, NFL’s Head of Digital, will also share his insights alongside Twitch’s Justin Dellario, Head of Esports for the Amazon-owned streaming giant.
Esports BAR in Cannes will focus on not only helping brands increase their awareness and exposure, but also highlight the important achievements in the past years of those companies that have managed to involve more non-endemic companies with esports.
This part of the festival will be wrapped up in The Game Shakers Awards, which will seek to reward individuals who have helped bring esports into the mainstream, helping it gain recognition worldwide. The Shakers Awards have benefited from the services of Formula 1 legend Jean Alesi who serves as an ambassador for the brand and is actively involved in esports through his dedicated sim-racing entity, “Jean Alesi Esports Academy.”
A number of brands and individuals were already rewarded for their efforts, including established endemic and non-endemic companies, including Activision, Coca-Cola, Disney, Lagardère, Turner, ESL, Twitch, Fnatic, and many others.
Cloud9 owner & founder Jack Etienne has been praised for his sustained personal and organizational efforts in bringing more non-gaming entities to electronic sports, with Cloud9 being one of the most valued companies in the esports world.
In conclusion, the Awards and Esports BAR serve the sole purpose of raising the profile of esports and far more importantly – allowing mainstream brands to develop a product that adds value to esports fans.