Soccerex USA will pull together experts from the worlds of gaming, streaming and soccer to discuss the growth potential of FIFA 19 (and beyond) in the esports community, this November 21-22 in Miami, Florida.
With over 56% of Generation Z claiming a higher interest in esports than traditional sports and the success of streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, it is no surprise that esports’ popularity is increasing rapidly year by year, going from an approximate 58 million esports viewers in 2012 to 380 million in 2018, with an expected rise to 557 million viewers by 2021. Comparing it to the numbers of traditional sports, it may not look like much – 3.5 billion people watched the last soccer World Cup, with the final alone drawing 1.12 billion viewers – but there is no denying the potential of esports in a new generation. In addition, viewership is not the only number that seems to be growing: Deloitte predicts a $1.5 billion revenue by 2020 and in 2019, $450+ million is set to come from sponsorship alone, either through partnership with brands or with existing sports teams. Although it may not be part of esports’ established elite trio of Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and League of Legends, FIFA 19 pulls in a fair crowd of competitors and viewers alike: the FIFA eWorld Cup 2018 had a peak viewership of over 90,000 viewers, which grew to over 240,000 in this year’s edition. At Soccerex USA, experts from the field will be discussing how to grow this number further, looking at the opportunities esports presents for football right’s holders and the role partnerships and sponsorships can play.
Speaking on this topic will be Brent Koning, the FIFA Competitive Gaming Commissioner of Electronic Arts (EA). He has held the position of managing FIFA’s competitive gaming division since he joined the company in late 2016, after having built his name through multiple other high level brands, such as his position in Microsoft’s Global Product Marketing division and his work for multiple clients at NCompass International. He is also involved in the gaming world as part of his volunteer work on the Board of Directors of Gamers Outreach, a charity organisation that provides children with enjoyment through video games whilst undergoing hospital treatment.
Joining Brent will be Ron Rheingold of Twitch’s Global Strategy & Partnerships division. Ron has over a decade’s worth of experience in the media and entertainment industry, starting his career at WME Entertainment where he worked with artists, celebrities, and personalities as well as numerous brands. He used the knowledge from WME to found Beautycon Media, a community of content creators, fan, and brands. He then moved into partnerships, beginning at Super League Gaming before moving to develop new partnerships and initiatives within Twitch, to help make it the top platform for esports.
Rounding off the speakers for this panel will be James Ruth, the Senior Director of Properties at Soccer United Marketing, where he works on commercial platform development and marketing for U.S. Soccer, MLS, and the initiative that he helped to launch, eMLS. After the project was launched in January of last year, it has gone on to hold multiple high-profile gaming events, such as the eMLS Cup alongside the eMLS All-Star Challenge.
Moderating the panel is Scott Debson, EVP of Strategy at Engine Shop. Throughout his 18 year career, Scott has worked with worldwide brands, including Anheuser-Busch InBev, PepsiCo, Warner Brothers, T-Mobile, and more. He has executive produced over 100 live esports events resulting in more than 300 hours of content for clients such as MLS, MLB, NHL, Microsoft, and City Football Group alongside being heavily involved in the development and execution MLS’ competitive gaming platform, eMLS.
Soccer, Esports & the Importance of Partnerships” will be one of the many sessions in the industry leading conference programme at Soccerex USA that is being developed in conjunction with an advisory board with representatives from CONCACAF, LaLiga, Mexican Football Federation, MLS, NWSL, US Soccer and more.
In recent years, the US soccer market has been growing at an unprecedented rate and has presented an incredible amount of potential expansion within the industry. Soccerex USA will bring together over 1,800 delegates for two days of networking, learning opportunities and commercial insight that will showcase the wide opportunities that exist through this market.
For more information on the conference programme for Soccerex USA and how you can book your place at this important industry event, please go to www.soccerex.com/usa .