The marketing department of an esports club assumes a vitally important responsibility since every step that is taken must be well taken care of and the direction taken by the strategy designed by this department to offer the market an image consistent with the objectives that the club intends to pursue.
There are many initiatives that a club can and should implement to achieve a market position that facilitates access to a wide range of possibilities from a competitive and business point of view. In this article, however, I want to focus on four basic ideas, and that must be thoroughly worked on to achieve a good result as a starting point towards achieving higher goals in the future.
The starting box for any starting club is undoubtedly creating and managing their official profiles on social networks to reach a critical mass of followers that allows them to opt for the following actions within their positioning strategy. Without promising data in the form of followers, views or interaction that can accompany any corporate presentation of the club, no reward allows you to continue advancing at a level in the race to capture the attention of the leading market players.
But in social networks, it is not only necessary to speak in terms of quantity but above all of the quality, a quality that in the form of interaction meets the expectations of the club regarding the construction of a faithful and productive community. To achieve this objective, an excellent geographic diversification strategy is of vital importance because consumer practices and habits are not homogeneous in the different markets that make up the international map.
We must also pay special attention to everything that revolves around the sector in social networks. For this, technology plays a fundamental role not only when it comes to monitoring the club’s brand accurately, but also to know what other clubs are achieving with their respective audiences. Social listening platforms will help us to connect with the fans of the club properly, but other types of platforms will allow us to obtain information about the geographical location, sex, age and expectations of the mass of fans who follow other clubs with which one wants to compare. In this way, the club will be able to make many better-informed decisions.
Finally, we must not forget the vital role that influencers play in building a robust community around the club, people, after all, who will be crucial inadequately communicating the club’s values reason why it is necessary to choose them conveniently by multiple scales.
It is an advertising strategy that consists of introducing a particular product or brand within a scenario in which an action is being developed, whether in a video game, a movie or another entertainment channel.
There are many esports clubs that are opting for the Product Placement, and an example of this is found in the popular FIFA20 game and the official shirts of organizations such as MAD Lions, Team Liquid or Movistar Raiders among many others and that the players of the different Ultimate Team teams can show off. These clubs have not wanted to give up the opportunity to introduce their respective brands in a video game whose global impact no one doubts. These jerseys are the reward for a series of actions that FIFA20 users must carry out to achieve this well-deserved award, which is none other than to brag about the teams they manage at FUT.
But little by little, the clubs will go further and further applying this marketing strategy and it would not be surprising to see in the future a prominent character in a video game wear shirts and other accessories that are part of the merchandising catalogue of esports clubs. Imagine a graphic adventure or action game in which a character holds a mug with the club logo, or even sports a watch from an exclusive edition developed for the club.
Consider also shoot-em-up game esports competitions in which soldiers wear vests and shirts of the club itself or in which the settings include details that powerfully draw the attention of fans to the clubs that have most taking advantage of the opportunities that this type of marketing provides to brands.
The Product Placement is an objective to pursue to enter the select group of clubs that acquire the most representative category on the international scene since the user identifies this achievement with a proper brand positioning and that increases the perception that the potential target audience has In front of the club, which translates not only into a strengthening of the connection between brand and fan but also an improvement in the club’s ability to generate new and interesting business models.
Social sponsorship or social partnership
One of the aspects that an esports club should take better care of is the one that refers to its values. The great media impact that a club of this nature can achieve forces it to assume a leadership role in the correct application of the moral principles that mark the evolution of society towards a model of sustainable and normalized coexistence.
Forging alliances with organizations that uphold these moral principles are vitally important to convey a message of solidarity and social recognition that can help strengthen ties between the esports club and its fans.
We can find an example of what I have just mentioned in the recent agreement between Team Heretics with UNICEF Spain. This initiative aims to educate young people to make responsible use of their passion for video games and electronic sports.
Demonstrating a social commitment by entities that, like esports clubs, have an important social mass behind, is almost an obligation and a responsibility that cannot be ignored and that should undoubtedly be part of an elaborate communication plan that allows the transmission values of a positive nature to an increasingly complex, versatile and, above all, well-connected society.
If my experience working with top international soccer clubs has taught me anything, it is that we must build and strengthen a community of fans that, at a global level, have a level of audience that catapults the popularity of the club to levels that facilitate activation of new sponsorships and other business opportunities.
The bigger the potential market to target the club’s offer of products and services, the higher the possible level of income you will obtain and, consequently, the better your economic, but also in relation, results, which can lead to identifying new opportunities in the future.
Incorporating quality foreign players, especially those from target countries, and participating in international competitions are two of the fundamental elements when determining which markets are going to be the first in an extensive wish list that little by little should be conforming to give the club a stable and lasting presence internationally. If there is something that the crises show us, it is that the local markets are very changing. A global positioning strategy is vital to face possible fluctuations in a very versatile economy, and these esports clubs are no exception. The higher their level of international influence, the greater their ability to overcome possible adverse situations. And from a business perspective, it is evident that a brand globalization strategy will help to consolidate an income statement that will be notably reinforced.
Identifying appropriate partners with whom to partner to organize local events that allow the club to get closer to its fans is another element that should not be missing in any self-respecting internationalization strategy.
To carry out the internationalization process of the esports club, the most innovative market research methodology must be used, as well as technological tools that best contribute to obtaining relevant data and information on the geographical areas in which the club wants to build a community of fans. These are tools that help identify blogs, media, influencers, social profiles and potential partners that provide the club with the gateway to a specific country or territory. From there, it will be the marketing department who, together with the communication department, will be in charge of preparing a message and even a catalogue of products and services adapted to the peculiarity of each geographical location.
These are, in general, four of the ideas or initiatives that can provide a significant boost in the aspirations of an esports club to achieve essential levels of recognition at a global scale. Value propositions that together with those of a purely sporting nature can shape a brand concept capable of attracting and retaining a significant mass of fans.
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