MENSES E-SPORT INDUSTRY CASE CONCEPT

E-SPORT ON LINEAR TELEVISION?

Authors: Mitja Caboni, Niels van Gaans, Thom Suurland, Chantal van Os, Anisa Lahlali

GOAL

In a world where streaming has become the new norm, linear TV has suddenly fallen by the wayside. For this reason, it is no wonder the search and investment in research on how to get linear TV back into the limelight is of great importance. At this current moment, ZIGGO’s consumers are privy to viewing many different channels that include sports, news, and movies. These consumers are, but not limited to being, predominantly male. As many young adults are now moving online and streaming instead of sitting down to watch linear TV, whether it be on a television or a smartphone and/or tablet, the goal is to take these viewers and bring them back into traditional TV.

E-SPORT

is short for electronic sports, a style of competition that is based around the concept of live gaming. The players and competitors are typically professional gamers who battle against each other for either a special prize or just the satisfaction of winning. This all began, according to (2017) in 1972 when the first ever live gaming competition was held at Stanford University. The world of gaming has grown immensely since then and evolved from the enjoyment of playing the games themselves to also enjoying watching others play (2018).

With the emergence of Twitch, an online streaming website where gamers (and other types of live streamers) may live play their games and collect a following a fanbase through this. The user with the most followers as of March 2018 is a user named “summit1g” who live streams himself and others playing a game called “Fortnite.” The amount of followers he has generated is 2.8 million and counting and his combined views over his lifetime on this website is 206 million (n.d.). This goes to show what a following eSports has and how many people are willing to watch such an event. Twitch also live streams many global eSports events throughout the world and these, too, gather many views.

In Europe alone, there are quite a few football clubs that team up with eSports athletes to include this as part of their official team. For example, the Dutch football team also has an official eSport representative for the FIFA game (2016). In the US, basketball teams are catching on and adding eSports into their resume of activities that the team participates in (Heitner, 2017). FiFA, in fact, is a prime example of how franchises have made their mark in the eSports world. This is happening more and more in other games as well, such as League of Legends (Heitner, 2017).

Few websites and mainstream news outlets have caught on to the growing concept of eSports and have even added special sections on their websites. An example of this is ESPN, one of the most respected sport news outlets in the world. The news about this subject is immense as it is something happening 24/7 all around the world. It can range from a small, friendly competition between two or more friends to a large event with hundreds of participants. No matter the content, the fanbase is still there and the world of eSports is still growing rapidly. There is no telling where it might go next (2016).

CONCEPT

The concept that arose from the meetings with the Ziggo team and our own creative team is that of an eSport channel on the Ziggo network. The channel would showcase live gaming events, as well as other content. These would be events hosted and broadcasted by Ziggo themselves, some of them in the Ziggo Dome. The concept that arose from the meetings with the Ziggo team and our own creative team is that of an eSport channel on the Ziggo network. The channel would showcase live gaming events, as well as other content. These would be events hosted and broadcasted by Ziggo themselves, some of them in the Ziggo Dome.

Since the eSports community is quite international, the events would be broadcasted in English but would feature Dutch commentators. There are currently already established eSports channels in the US and the UK – such as GINX TV on Sky. Prior research confirms that these programs and segments would add great value to the channel as they are trending in consumer appeal. There is certainly a rise in eSports gaining traction on linear TV. Bullock (2017) reported that the total global audience of eSports is approximately 385.5 million at the point of when the article was written (July 1, 2017). Yet, compared to the amount of fans of the English Premier League – 2.3 billion – it is miniscule. That is why (Bullock, 2017) suggested that the switch from online to mainstream TV is the exposure needed in order to gain more traction to the sport. The CEO of Sky network in the UK reported that the emergence of GINX TV – a 24 hour eSports station – has brought a whole new audience to the sport as it builds but also gives core fans a fresh and new perspective (Bullock, 2017). In addition, The Netherlands is particularly a great location to introduce this channel to as it is a country with a growing eSports fanbase as well as player base. Ajax – a football club sponsored by Ziggo itself – already has an official eSports representative. Ziggo may use this as a stepping stone to creating something bigger and more impactful.

Strategy

Previous research shows that there are four main motivating factors for the consumers to watch eSports (Hamari & Sjöblom, 2017). Acceptance; community; escape and Achievement. The following strategy incorporates these intrinsic motivators by providing guidelines to build an environment where these properties are stimulated…..

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