When I look at the potential market value of some of the Pro Gamers out there, I really question why more advertisers and sponsors are not backing some of the players with significant amounts of influence in the market. There is a growing number of super influencers out there promoting games, products, and gear for various companies without much support (from those companies).
I think there is a common misconception amongst the gaming community that only the “top” teams or individuals that are the ones with a viable means to market themselves. In reality anyone, or more specifically any gamer, can create opportunities to build their marketability amongst sponsors.
My thoughts on marketability as a gamer after the jump.
Create Value For Yourself
Major League Gaming has created a media platform that places the spotlight on players within the top ranks in their respective games. Naturally, the sponsors within the league have reached out to a select number of players and teams within the league to support the cream of the crop. Over time, I imagine there will be a larger shift towards individual players because of the unstable nature of competitive gaming. Brands and sponsors will have a difficult time backing teams because of the frequent roster changes, and instead will focus on individual players. That means the importance in creating value within yourself will become vital in the coming years. Those unconvinced of the notion need to look no further than LeBron James as an example of the amount of influence he brought to the Miami Heat. Conversely, the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise is worth significantly less without him. The value he adds to teams and surrounding areas makes him significantly more marketable.
Prior to creating AmazYn, I tested a variety ideas that shaped many of the decisions I made in regards to the ReflectzYn blog and the small video network I created on YouTube. I turned my gaming and product knowledge into a valuable asset that helps me create content for others to view. There are a number of ways to increase the marketability you possess for sponsors. I have established the following:
- YouTube Partner Account (limited number of partners, exclusive privileges)
- Website (Personal Thoughts, Things I Enjoy, Life)
- Facebook Page (Team Information)
- Twitter Account (Informative, Useful tweets)
- MLG Pro 2007-2009
The general ways to increase your market value:
1. Use Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube)
If you thought that creating a Twitter, Facebook Page, or Youtube account was not worth it, please reconsider. Social Media, is an outstanding way to keep in touch with the people that care the most about you and your team. This becomes an important part of maximizing your value to sponsors because of the engagement you control with your established following.
Many of Major League Gaming’s top Pro Halo Players have a couple thousand followers on Twitter and their Facebook pages. Other gamers are turning to YouTube as a way to showcase their gameplay while building an audience. Some of the more fortunate Pro Gamers like Hastr0, and commentators like Fwiz have established themselves as Machinima directors. That has exponentially increased their value and broadened their audience. Increasing the following of your Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube accounts can greatly improve your marketability and the value you represent to potential sponsors.
2. Your Appearance Matters
To be blunt, do not believe that your appearance does not matter! We live in a world where prejudices and human error are prevalent. The superficial things may seem miniscule to you, however it is important to remember that being marketable often times means your weight, skin color, and general appearance do in fact matter. It is unfortunate that our society places the blame of things like obesity and violence on video games, but do not be naive to your own appearance. Take care of your body, exercise and think about your lifestyle.
You can win every single tournament out there, but don’t think for a second that sponsors will pursue you if the second, third or fourth place person is more presentable than you to a broad, opinionated audience. I have and continue to encourage my teammates to improve their health and physical appearance, not only is it beneficial for their long-term health, but it motivates other players like themselves to improve (Healthy Gamers). I cannot stress enough how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
3. Track Results
Are you able to influence the bottom line (sales) of a sponsor? Can you measure the value you present to them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or at events? If so, how can you improve those results? If not, why should a sponsor be interested in you? Having a method to track your influence is critical to establishing your value. Typical online methods of tracking website/online value included tracking:
- Website Impressions
- Unique Visitors
- Conversion Rates
The ReflectzYn website is just under a year old while my Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts have been a progressive project that I continue to improve. I can very easily pull numbers and statistics in the event that I need to show how much influence I have as a player. On my YouTube channel alone I have generated just under 100,000 (87,000) views, in a few months on videos covering well known Gaming brands (Astro Gaming, Tritton Technologies, Razer, SteelSeries). I can provide all the pertinent information that increases my marketability as a Pro Gamer.
I created my team to be a conduit of my view on gaming culture and assist in the progression of competitive gaming. Hopefully this helps guide you on the path that leads to a better gaming experience. If you enjoyed this article you may also want to read:
- Monday Night Combat Sniper Tutorial Video
- Razer Academy: Marketability as a Gamer
- The Major League Gaming LAN Center Initiative
- Razer Onza Giveaway #3 and Winners Announced
- Vote For Your Favorite MLG x Hot Topic T-Shirt Design
- The Scrimmage Mentality
- Gears of War 3 Beta: King of the Hill Commentary
- AmazYn at MLG D.C. (Live Blog)
- GoW Nation First Foray Tournament: AmazYn vs. Strafe Masters @ 4PM EST
- Finally, GUNNAR Releases New MLG Sunglasses!