Edward Chang, Director of Business Strategy – Competitive Gaming Division at Electronic Arts (EA); Scott Munn, Chief Executive at City Football Group China; and Don Chen, Founder and CEO of Duo Sport Group will be joining Soccerex China, this May 23-24 in Hainan to discuss the ever-expanding esports industry and in particular, FIFA Online, the opportunities it presents and what this could mean for the future of traditional sports.
The world of esports is growing by the year, with football teams from around the world racing to get involved, and major leagues and federations, such as the Premier League, Ligue 1, the Bundesliga and FIFA partnering with EA to create new brand opportunities and a platform to advertise in front of a new audience. This growth is especially prominent in China, with esports reaching a total market size of 60 billion yuan (USD$8.8 billion) in 2018 and esports matches garnering audiences of 18,000-20,000 live spectators, at venues such as the Dalian Sports Center Stadium and Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz arena. FIFA Online is a staple of the esports world in Asia, with FIFA Online 3 having 35 million registered users in China before the newest version of the game was released in late 2018.
The question now for the football industry is how to take advantage of this growing audience? Select teams have already been stepping into the world of esports, with Wolves joining Weibo, one of China’s most popular social media channels, to form their own esports team, or with Manchester City and their own China-based ‘FIFA Online’ esports squad, who competed in last year’s Esports World Cup in Beijing, partnering with Turtle Beach, providers of gaming headsets and other accessories for aspiring players. Since 56% of Generation Z boys (aged 13-21) state that non-traditional sports are more relevant to them than traditional ones, the football industry needs to consider both the opportunities and threats that can come from esports.
Speaking on this panel will be Edward Chang, who has almost a decade of experience working within the esports industry, starting by founding his own talent agency for esports players, Basikz Agency in 2010. Along with managing Basikz, Edward also held positions at TokBox, HelloSign and then became the Head of Business Development at Streamlabs. In 2016, he became an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Chernin Group, focusing on esports, gaming and VR, before joining Electronic Arts (EA) as the Director of Business Strategy in their Competitive Gaming Division.
Joining Edward will be Scott Munn, Chief Executive Officer of City Football Group China. Scott has held a variety of positions within the sports industry across Australia’s leading sporting codes and organisations before he was installed as Melbourne City FC Chief Executive Officer in the Club’s inaugural year in 2010. He was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of City Football Group China in 2019, and now oversees all CFG’s operations in China, including Manchester City’s esports team after they were the first Premier League squad to partner with a team in China.
Moderating the panel is Don Chen, CEO of Duo Sport Group. After holding positions in the Asian Football Confederation, Chen has since served as a consultant for multiple Chinese enterprises looking to work with European football clubs, alongside acting as a consultant for international sports organisations including the Olympic Council of Asia and more. Most recently, he founded the Asian Electronic Sports Federation and promoted and operated the esports demonstration in the 2018 Asian Games.
This culmination of knowledge and experience across the football and global sports industries will ensure that the “ESports and Football – Realising the Virtual Opportunity” session will provide delegates with unrivalled insight from global industry leaders, as part of a stellar conference agenda for Soccerex China, May 23/24 in Hainan.
Taking place at Mission Hills Haikou in the beautiful island of Hainan on May 23/24, 2019, Soccerex China is set to deliver unrivalled networking and learning opportunities for both domestic and international business looking to support the growth of football in China.