Damn, another one. In recent weeks and months, several companies and sports organizations, most recently, French football club Paris Saint-Germain, have entered the eSports scene. While many of the new players in the eSports industry are very enthusiastic about the new possibilities for their brand, every organisation has a different plan on which GAME they should compete in.
While some football clubs start conservatively, picking up a FIFA player or two, some others, like Schalke 04 or PSG, jump into the deep end by starting with League of Legends. Epsilon eSports is the most recent organization to be associated with a French FC, Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club, better known as AS Monaco. At least that’s what the org announced on Wednesday.
Looking at the announcement on the Epsilon eSports website, found here, the whole matter seems to be taken care of differently this time. Usually, eSports organizations get bought out, absorbed, and rebranded. This time, it looks to be handled in another way. AS Monaco and Epsilon eSports seem to be entering a partnership, where their FIFA player, Nathan “Sneaky” Nayagom, not to be confused with the better known Zachary "Sneaky" Scuderi from the Cloud9’s League of Legends lineup, is going to to represent the legendary French football club in for the 2016-2017 season.
Using the social media reach of AS Monaco, Epsilon eSports should be able to get their brand some more attention from the more traditional demographic, maybe even making Epsilon the first eSports team some newly-minted fans hear of, while Monaco will get to represent their own brand in eSports tournaments, exposing the AS Monaco club to the younger audience, which wouldn’t normally know about them due to minimal interest in sports. After all, more and more people are watching traditional sports less and less, made up by the increasing eSports viewership.
Concerning the subject, AS Monaco’s Director of Communication and Marketing, Bruno Skropeta, said: “E-sport has a really young market which is a growing sector, and is therefore an important new step in the digital strategy of the club.”
With every passing week, this kind of news is becoming the new normal. When an announcement to this effect comes out, people are no longer surprised. Instead, they shrug, nod and go on with their lives. After all, why WOULDN’T a traditional sport club invest in eSports? It’s the future, after all. That is a far healthier mindset to have. If mainstream interest is assumed instead of craved, organisations will be in much better positions to negotiate.