We’ve kicked off March by being featured in this month’s PCR Magazine. In theis Esports Special, they’re diving into the state of esports, the impact of COVID, trends, if esports impacts physical sport and what the future could hold; it’s got it all!
Our Founder & CEO Heather gives her take on the current state of the esports industry — check out the snippet from the article below:
Q1: Please could you explain a bit more about what products and services you offer to the sports and gaming markets?
Hotdrop is the comprehensive esports and gaming creative marketing agency that takes clients through ideation to execution with creative, authentic and high-quality campaigns in all formats. Hotdrop’s experienced, diverse team of passionate industry leaders work with the likes of tournament organisers, teams, brands and government-backed research initiatives to successfully connect them to endemic esports and gaming audiences.
Q2: What is the current state of the esports market in your opinion?
The esports market is forming steady, sustainable growth where we have far more data rich approaches available to understand and create successful commercial viability and revenue streams.
Far more consideration is starting to take place in the initiation of forming long term, scalable, and realistic strategies that bring a true harmony between brand values and a compelling market offering for the fandoms to consume and engage with.
For Hotdrop and even personally, it’s exciting to be at the forefront, leading the charge on educating endemics and non-endemics and creating environments and approaches that work on an individual basis.
Q3: Please explain a bit more about the company’s involvement in esports gaming? Do you have a team or participate in a league?
Our involvement within esports and gaming is about harnessing the true potential of the industry’s dynamic demographics by constantly innovating and creating new, exhilarating ways for our clients to activate within the space.
Our team brings a diverse skill set and perspective to the industry. We’re masters of the delivery process, from concept to creation. We provide everything from campaign management, brand identity, shoulder content production, social media strategy, through to the creation and go to the market of IP. We’re bold in how we help brands execute, whether it’s for tournament organisers, teams, vendors, etailers or IP owners.
Q4: Why is esports on the increase and how has it helped during the Covid lockdown?
Viewership and hardware sales have seen direct uplift during COVID, this is down to the ease of accessibility to always-on content, alongside gaming hardware seeing prices that are more attainable, lowering the barrier to entry enabling aspirational drive and overall involvement.
The sector sees year on year growth despite Covid. Global audiences were watching in their masses before the pandemic and fans expected continuation with minimal disruption, so esports reverted back to online only competitions. Although easier to execute than sport, revenue streams have been hit without physical events and we won’t know the true impact for another 2-3 years.
Q5: How are you seeing the esport market evolve? What trends or developments are you seeing?
Gaming and esports audiences are leading the way; their subcultures are the ones influencing and infiltrating mainstream mediums such as music, sport and apparel. We’re seeing music artists like Onset wearing a FaZe Clan tracksuit over mainstream designer brands on his own merit, emphasising how conventional esports has become.
Gamers are early adopters; they are the ones creating internet culture and viral moments that become recognisable in an offline capacity to the everyday person. Their power in numbers dictates what’s on trend, no matter the category.
Q6: Where do you predict the future of the esport market going? What can we expect to see more of?
We see the future of esports moving towards brands understanding the esports audience and its sub cultures a lot better, instead of treating ‘esports’ as one mass generic audience. Each sub fandom and community requires its own unique approach with empathy to ensure you are making meaningful connections and creating brand affinity.
Building a highly engaged ‘sticky’ audience is invaluable as you can’t put a price on genuine passion and excitement for a product or brand, and like traditional sports fans, esports fans will only buy into brands if the relationship feels honest and if they truly ‘get’ it.
Q7: How does esports impact physical sports? Is it good to encourage virtual gameplay rather than physical?
Both sport and esports share the same ideologies and attributes at heart. They help develop invaluable personal soft skills, drive inspiration and positive change, and can even be an engagement tool to interact within our offline communities.
From a wellbeing perspective, physical and digital can and should coexist. Pro teams are now heavily focused on player wellbeing, and for casual gamers, virtual gameplay is helping them have a healthier lifestyle and can help introduce them into the physical sport, allowing the physical sport to benefit.
You can check out the full coverage of the Gaming and Esports special over on PCR here.
Fancy a chat about activating within the gaming, esports or digital lifestyle space? Drop us a line!