Telling real stories with authenticity and an innovative spirit through esports has been a challenge for brands, say two panellists at Campaign360.
Ferdinand Gutierrez, co-founder and CEO of Ampverse, said, “[Esports] has increased the pace of our way of being able to be relevant, tell great stories, and to stay on top of the industry.”
Erica Kerner, chief marketing and communications officer of SailGP, said the pandemic has to some extent, changed the way storytelling for sports and esports marketing is being done as “now fans are expecting that and they want a 360-degree-view of their heroes. ”
Kerner added that brands should really look at “telling the right stories with the right content in the right channel for the right fan".
However, in the world of esports, driving engagement also comes with challenges. Gutierrez said the biggest factor is being true to brands so that they remain authentic.
"The moment we lose authenticity or the moment we try to be too sales in our approach, it never works out, especially with this kind of audience set," he said.
Kerner also said that brands “need to speak in an authentic voice".
"They need to really make sure that they're engaging consistently with their fans and that they're listening," she said.
Gutierrez shared a story of an esports athlete who grew up in the slums of Bangkok who is now "doing great things." This 'zero-to-hero story' showed that this person has a great heart and showcases how his family and community are being helped along the way.
Gutierrez emphasised that these stories “happen naturally within esports teams, within influencers or talent, and within the community itself".
To build memorable experiences and connect fans and the esports community, Gutierrez also relayed the story of how esports communities “pitched in and raised money” for the north of Thailand “to help a town in a super flood”.
Kerner agreed with him on the power of storytelling and having those heroes. She said: “It's not necessarily the game or the sport. It's the athletes and the teams. I think that creates powerful connections".
With the rise of short videos and TikTok and attention spans getting shorter and shorter, Gutierrez said brands should always “be innovative” and “look for ways to try out new channels”, such as Web3 in order to build long-term engagement and better interaction with fans, especially among Gen Zs.
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