A lot of new esports organisations are struggling to have companies sponsor or collaborate with them. Endemic and non-endemic brands aren’t sure about the benefits of working with smaller esports organisations other than the awareness they can gain.
The brand of your esports organisation plays a big part in developing the right relationships to push your business forward. Let’s take a look at what is needed to build effective connections with other companies.
Firstly the best way to become an impactful esports organisation is to form an authentic identity. Authenticity is vital to your organisation’s success, if someone sees your brand they must think of specific things. If you think about the brand The North Face, what comes to mind is hiking and skiing. Therefore if they were in environments unrelated to this, for example, they begin manufacturing tennis equipment or stilettos they’d confuse and alienate their audience.
Coming back to esports, this is what many organisations struggle with. At lower tiers, some esports brands would be indistinguishable from others if their designs were removed. The identity of your brand is imperative. This includes your brand messaging, promise and personality. Have a look at what is currently connecting with your audience and what is unique about it. This is the first step to forming an identity within the esports industry. Think of your esports brand as a person, what would they wear and how would they speak.
After visiting many esports business events, a fixed set of requests are repeatedly mentioned by endemic and non-endemic brands. They were always interested in storytelling and how to get consumers engaged with their content. Storytelling is always a subject at the forefront of discussion from companies coming into esports. Brands are interested in the origin and storytelling that builds the identity of your esports organisation. All players and other staff in your organisation have a story. A good way to create loyal fans is to present the backstories of the players. Allow fans to know what each player has been through to get to where they are, this creates an emotional attachment.
Before approaching a company for potential sponsorship recognise their pressure points and how your brand can be a benefit to them. Think about the content your organisation can provide in collaboration with said company. Storytelling has many advantages to your esports brand and marketing. Stories make your content exciting and touch the emotions of fans. It also changes the way fans relate to your organisation, as it becomes more human. Telling your truth not only builds trust with fans but advocacy and loyalty.
Values and bringing value
Esports organisations need their brand to have values, however CEOs become apprehensive when approaching this. This starts to get risky as attempting to stand out and stand up for what you (as a company) value may offend some consumers. What these CEOs don’t realise is that trying to appeal to everyone is the quickest way to appeal to no one. Over-generalised values and attempting a perfect brand image results in an organisation with no character.
Those that stand for nothing, will fall for anything.
As an organisation come together to define your values:
- What do you stand for?
- What will you never be a part of (no matter how lucrative)?
- How would you like your fans to feel when they think of your brand?
You can use our brand checklist to analyse your organisation with a fine tooth-comb and get a great detail of insight. The checklist has a lot more questions, answering them gives you the chance to carve out your own space within the industry. No company wants to work with an esports organisation that’ll take any offer that arises for them. It shows a lack brand consistency.
So, what do you stand for? Does your organisation value young talent and aim to support their growth? Do you stand for promoting an active lifestyle? Or is mental health your highest priority? Focus on providing assistance for not only players and staff, but fans as well.
What will you never be a part of? Maybe your brand values a healthy lifestyle and therefore will never advocate for fizzy drinks due to excessive sugar.
How would you like your fans to feel when they think of your brand? For example when people think of Maestro Esports, they think of house music and good vibes.
Show how your esports brand is beneficial
When looking to bring value to a potential sponsor, analyse the situation from their perspective. Why should they work with you? What value can you offer? Sponsors look to gain awareness for their brand first and foremost. They’d like you to be as specific as possible especially when presenting esports viewing figures and your social media following. More than one million concurrent viewers doesn’t matter if there is very little chance the viewers will take notice of the brand or their product.
You wouldn’t play CS:GO without your teammates giving you information. Only give a potential sponsor actionable, specific information.
Showing less figures but having tailored details behind those figures is much more helpful. Sponsors will be able to decide for themselves very precisely what products they’d want you to promote and whether or not to continue negotiations. This is a lot better for them than higher figures with no context behind it. The sponsors won’t have a clear-cut idea of who their brand will target. Sponsors want to know the demographic of your audience in great detail to confirm its relevance to their target market and that they’d get a good return on investment.
Bringing it all together
Come together and collaborate internally to define your values, tell original stories and stand out from the crowd of generic esports organisations. Defining your values has a big impact on your presentation when making a proposal to a sponsor. It shows your brand has a voice and is capable of forming deep relationships to get loyal customers. Tell stories so everyone understands how the organisation and players careers launched. Lastly, get down to business and be thorough with the facts of what your potential sponsor is going to be receiving and how it benefits their bottom line.
Want to see regular esports content? Be sure to follow Maestro on LinkedIn for more insights to improve your esports organisation.