Online fan engagement and talent finance platform Espo announced that it has partnered with F2K, Godsent, and Team Queso to help fans unlock exclusive perks and rewards for supporting their favorite teams and players. The partnership will see the London-based company run a series of 30-day campaigns that will focus on players representing one of Espo’s team partners.
Financial details surrounding the deal suggest that no money is being charged for the service, but instead will see Espo receive a percentage of the revenue generated as a fee.
Fan engagement platforms are quickly entering the esports space as another revenue stream that can be monetized either through sponsorship and branding of the platform itself or through money spent on fan merchandise and perks. Espo is looking to tailor the fan engagement experience for each organization on its roster.
“One of the things that we’re really excited about with our platform is that we want each campaign and each team to be really diverse,” Espo CEO Henry James told The Esports Observer in an exclusive interview. “We’re working on negotiating with the teams to come up with an economic model that makes sense for each of them, not forcing them into anything. So we’re having those discussions and that’s quite a sensitive conversation with some teams, but the partners we’ve found are very, very open-minded.”
That open-mindedness from the three partner teams that Espo has thus far has allowed for a multitude of perks and different programs that can be made available to fans.
While Espo is maintaining some secrecy when it comes to what perks will be provided James did mention some possibilities.
“We are looking at three types of categories, exclusive experiences, merchandise, and prize money,” James said. “Some of the things we are looking into are opportunities to play with your favorite players, VOD reviews, and some VIP stuff like staying or traveling with the team during an event. Lots of possibilities.”
Also, in a yet unreleased perk associated with teams involved with the fan engagement platform, Henry told The Esports Observer that e-commerce will be an integral part of the site.
“The Espo platform will also include an e-commerce store within for companies and brands that are engaged by Espo in sponsoring its Team Partners. In addition to marketing activation offered by esports teams, Espo recognizes that sponsors want to generate revenue through esports sponsorship,” Henry said. “To serve this demand, the Espo platform will open up a new sales channel for sponsors to promote and sell products to Espo users. Furthermore, sponsors engaged by Espo will also provide value to fans via the Fan Perks offered on Espo. The purpose of which will be to connect brands and fans more meaningfully and reward their collaboration using Espo’s loyalty points mechanism.”
Perks can be obtained and redeemed using “Espo loyalty points,” which fans can earn through expenditure on the Espo platform and by participating in the Community Incentive Program that launched this month on the Espo website. Additionally, perks and rewards on Espo can get a bump through companies and brands that can offer special benefits to fans and financial support for teams and players via Espo’s campaign mechanism.
“Doing this as part of a fan engagement platform is important, otherwise it would just end up being a Patreon,” Henry said. “We are looking to add value to supporting your team. This type of program allows you to get and feel closer as a fan, which is a really important reason as to why we did this.”
James notes that as esports has grown, fans are seeing the gap widen in terms of interaction with their favorite players and teams. Some are frustrated by this and James believes fan engagement platforms can bring the two back together.
“We’ve seen the esports community grow rapidly. The prize pools have gotten bigger. The sponsorship deals have gotten bigger. The tournaments have gotten bigger, but we also feel that the gap between fans and players has also kind of widened as the sector has grown,” said James. “Our mission right from the beginning was to see how we can close that gap and find partners that share that interest.”
Source: Read Full Article