Thursday , May 19 2022

MLS, Twitch & New York Red Bulls to discuss the rise of eSports at Soccerex USA!

This November 15/16, Soccerex USA in Miami will gather experts from the world of soccer, social media, and eSports, to discuss what can be done by rights holders and businesses to help convert this growing digital community into active fans and consumers of live sports, away from their keyboards and consoles.

With over 30,000 people tuning in to watch the inaugural eMLS Cup on Twitch earlier this year and with Soccerex’s eSports panels consistently being among the most popular at each event, it is hard to discuss the soccer industry at this point without looking at the increasing potential commercial of eSports. Although not a new phenomenon, with the FIFA eWorld Cup dating back to its first competition in 2004, the past few years have seen an explosion in popularity through platforms like Twitch, which recorded 355 billion minutes watched and registered FIFA 2018 within its top 20 most watched games in 2017.

Speaking on this topic will be Jimmy Conrad; a former player and captain of the U.S. Men’s National Team. Jimmy’s personal experience as someone who has completed the transition from live sports to digital media successfully will prove incredibly insightful as his main focus is now his YouTube channel, where he acts as a social influencer with over 100,000 subscribers. He also regularly pairs with brands to help them build their digital footprint, either through working as a brand ambassador for AT&T or through his company, Radical Creative Group, where he has partnered with brands such as Coca-Cola, Red Bull, EA, and more.

Joining Jimmy Conrad 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, it has gone on to hold multiple high-profile gaming events, such as the inaugural eMLS Cup alongside the eMLS All-Star Challenge. He also works with various departments at SUM and MLS, to provide resources, insights, and how to implement long-term commercial strategy.

In addition, Mike Labelle will be joining this session to lend his expertise from the frontline as an eSports competitor and social influencer. Starting in 2007 at the FIFA Interactive World Cup, now renamed the FIFA eWorld Cup, Mike has been competing in various competitive eSports tournaments for over 10 years, most recently representing his team the New York Red Bulls at this year’s eMLS Cup. He has a large presence in the digital world built through his work with Hashtag United in 2017, along with his Twitch channel, the new platform Facebook Gaming, and his YouTube channel, where he maintains over 250,000 subscribers and is known as the #1 FIFA analyst on the platform, He has also produced digital content for numerous companies including AT&T, Samsung, Microsoft, and more.

Rounding off the speakers for this panel, we have Ron Rheingold, Global Strategy & Partnerships, Twitch. Ron has a decade of experience working in entertainment and media, 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.

Finally, moderating this panel is Scott Debson, who currently works as the EVP of Strategy at Engine Shop. Throughout his 17 year career, Scott has worked with worldwide brands, including PepsiCo, Warner Brothers, T-Mobile, and more. He has executively produced over 100 live eSports events resulting in more than 300 hours of content for clients such as MLS, MLB, Microsoft, and City Football Group. He has also been heavily involved in the development and execution of the competitive gaming platform, eMLS.

The “Influencing the E-Fan” session will be part of an industry leading conference programme at Soccerex USA that is being developed in conjunction with an advisory board containing representatives from CONCACAF, MLS and US Soccer.

Soccerex USA is sponsored by the London Football Exchange, the world’s first fully integrated soccer club stock exchange and marketplace, and hosted in partnership with General American Capital Partners. The two day event will take place at Miami’s iconic Marlins Park and will comprise an exhibition showcasing the latest soccer business, performance and technology innovations.

Soccerex USA will include a programme of structured and informal networking events to connect delegates from across the USA and the rest of the world and it will feature a market leading conference agenda, with international experts tackling topics such as league expansion, women’s soccer, youth development, , stadia technology, investment and new commercial opportunities.

For more information on Soccerex USA please go to www.soccerex.com/usa.

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