We came, we networked, we moderated....but most importantly, we learned from the industry's best!
As an #AWNewYork sponsor, Minute Media had the privilege of hosting two panels (centered around Sports Marketing Innovation & Esports) and a video monetization workshop—all in the vein of providing valuable insights to our peers, while also learning ourselves.
On these panels, we hosted esteemed guests from Budweiser, Horizon Media, Lagardère, Activision Blizzard, Flyquest Sports, Dreamhack and Publicis Media—all of which offered unique perspectives from different areas of the business.
Notable panelist insights (by topic) include:
Sports Marketing Innovation:
While some marketers have said that "storytelling" is dead, and that brands should be making the shift towards "storymaking," our panelists feel as if storytelling is still a crucial part of a marketer's job and should be the foundation of all brand activations and experiences.
Despite decreased rates in live sports viewing, our panelists believe that sports consumption & fandom haven't changed over time. There are just more platforms to consume them on now so viewership is more widespread. In order to reach and resonate with the new breed of fan, brands must go deeper in the environments that they're in and create unique, personalized experiences.
As for the future of the industry, the panelists are most excited by the possibilities and opportunities that AI offers marketers and brands.
One panelist suggested that authenticity may be an overused term that actually scares brands away from wanting to engage in esports. The thought is that a brand’s “wait and see” approach may actually hinder them versus help because the cost of entry is only going to increase as the sport gains wider adoption. Therefore, the best approach may be to just jump in (while still heeding best practices) and test sponsorship/integration strategies until your brand gets it right.
Panelists agreed that the esports industry isn’t going to plateau anytime soon. The reason being is that gaming enthusiasts make up a huge percentage of the global population and only a fraction of that population consider themselves esports fans, creating massive growth potential. Also, the dynamic nature of the industry provides endless opportunities (one example being Fortnite and how quickly that gained popularity over the last year).
Panelists noted that the value of esports for a brand is how close they can get to the action, including the access that they can have to players and how interactive the community is. For instance, the one-to-one interaction that happens between influencers/players and fans on Twitch.
Their prediction for the future is that all major media companies will broadcast esports (in a similar fashion to traditional sports).