[ 00:00:19 ] Well as you probably know synopsis is the publisher of several digital properties that serve the B2B media audience. So of course we’re always looking for what we think is going to be the next big thing. And frankly there wasn’t much happening for a while but it was very clear when we saw e-sports on the horizon that it was something that made sense for synopsis to get involved in just because we cover media and advertising and programming and this is really a tidal wave that you know didn’t start in this country but is clearly becoming a very big source of interest and revenue in the United States so it was a perfect storm of something for us to cover.
[ 00:01:05 ] A little bit of a difference between gaining and e-sports at least in the way that we talk about it.
[ 00:01:11 ] Yeah I mean the pie thing was huge obviously. But from what we have discovered there’s this you know whole kind of world of 18 to 34 men and surprisingly a lot of women too who are really into e-sports So while the pie might have put you know the cherry on the top I don’t know if he really defines the e-sports profile.
[ 00:01:40 ] I think that everybody knows that it is a place that has a lot of money involved in it because you know that as I alluded to before the kind of big demographic is young men so they’re very hard to find.
[ 00:01:54 ] So when you’re a big brands like the Coke Callie’s of the world or Pizza Hut you want to be where those young men are. And guess what it turns out that they’re watching video games most of them were kind of playing them at home but now they’re watching them these really big competitive arenas. So they’re they’re kind of out in the sunlight and everybody’s very excited in that part of the yeah which is no doubt the biggest platform but everybody sees kind of how much they’ve done. And has similar ideas of way to ways to move the whole venture forward. So there are you know plenty of other platforms as well as publishers and leagues who are trying to get a piece of the action. Well it’s much more of an emerging category. So the good news is that we have the agencies and brands in our readership. And these are people who know that they need to be educated around sports and figure out what’s going to be a smart place for them to spend their money. So for a synopsis we kind of have those eyes and ears already involved and we see is what we’re supposed to be doing is educating that segment of the community and saying this is how it works because even though everybody talks about e-sports there’s still a lot of confusion as to what it really takes to make money and who all the major players are in this race. What we have seen so far is that they’re even more skeptical when it comes to a brand approaching them.
[ 00:03:43 ] So to use that unbelievably overused word which is all about authenticity I would say for the e-sports fan it goes double if not triple. Like if they smell something that they think is insincere you have lost them and they’re never going to come back.
[ 00:04:03 ] Well we like to really talk about the case studies and examples that have worked. Right. So when people first like you don’t want to get involved in a Pepsi and Kendall Jenner you know brouhaha which we saw just a few weeks ago and again as I see it as I was saying that was just like one version. So you have to be very kind of thoughtful and deliberate about the way in which you know you approach this audience like if you went to them and said We just want you to be sitting around drinking a can of soda that’s very unlikely that they would be interested in doing something like that in a tournament setting. But there are other ways that you can talk to them too. So it’s it’s about really having the patience and interest in getting to know you know who the e-sports player and spectator is and then go you know it’s interesting for us to cover because of course we work in kind of linear and digital content but this you know the e-sports fan is totally digital.
[ 00:05:06 ] They are not at the moment flocking to watching any e-sports tournament’s on TV. Everything is digital. So that makes a difference when you really have to think digital first. On top of everything else.
[ 00:05:26 ] I think that people are beginning to say that e-sports really is real sports. So I think what has really caught marketers attention is that they they think that the fans are as dedicated as they are if they’re watching CNN if there are major league baseball fan or an NFL fan.
[ 00:05:47 ] So yeah I don’t know if it’s going to eclipse that but I think absolutely it will. It will equal it in terms of you know dedication and love and passion. Yeah. Because don’t forget all the brands are are really dying to do whatever they can to reach a new younger audience. And this is you know a previously hidden way to do just that. So if they’re smart they’re really going to be paying attention. I will tell you that I spent the morning in a meeting talking about e-sports and how important it is you know when synopsis like we don’t undertake things lightly if we’re going to cover a new area we want to do it in a 360 degree way so that’s our plan. Well you know we do newsletters as well of as well as events and we just put on a big e-sports conference in New York about two weeks ago in the middle of April and it’s the biggest event we’ve done. There were several hundred people there. It was big and sponsorship and revenue.
[ 00:07:06 ] So that’s the major component.
[ 00:07:11 ] Yeah. Yeah. And just like everybody else we’re figuring out how people want to talk about and learn about sports it’s not it’s not a one size fits all solution.
[ 00:07:29 ] You know there are so many different sectors and people who have different interests in mind when it comes to e-sports. You know there are the athletes there’s the leagues there’s the teams there’s the publishers there’s the streaming platforms. So right now I think what we’re seeing is a lot of kind of turmoil about people trying to figure out exactly where they want to sit in the landscape and how they can best work together and proceed. So in a way you know the confusion is sort of you know the new normal as everybody figures out what exactly the standards are going to be in the future.
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Backstage Conversation Season: 2017