ESPORTS. It’s an industry worth an estimated $493 million, and one that’s just as popular as American football for US teens. One of the most recognisable names in the esports and DFS space is Esports Entertainment Group, an ambitious firm that has landed over 100 affiliate agreements with esports teams in 2018 alone. Affiliate Industry Review reached out to the group’s Head of Affiliates, Sandra Österlund, to find out if there’s scope for traditional affiliate marketing to infiltrate this lucrative sector.
Affiliate Industry Review: Hi Sandra! Firstly can you introduce Esports Entertainment Group as a company and outline the development of its affiliate plan.
Sandra Österlund: Esports Entertainment Group is a licensed next generation online gambling company focused purely on esports. Utilising our proprietary player-to-player wagering system, we offer esports fans and enthusiasts from around the world (excluding the United States) the ability to wager on all professional esports events for real money in our licensed and secure environment.
We have had a great response from the esports community so far. The affiliates we are working with believe in our business model and with their continued support and the recruitment of new affiliates we expect to keep growing.
AI: Esports Entertainment Group has demonstrated its affiliate ambition over the past few months, with a wealth of deals with esports teams. Do you expect to continue growing at such an exponential rate?
SO: We have been very humbled by the amazing response received by the community as a whole, and are grateful for the strong relationships we have managed to build with streamers and teams so far. They have all showed us great support and trust and we work very hard to keep these relationships strong and we value their opinions and expertise. I believe we will continue growing at this rate as this is something that has been met very well by the community.
AI: Last month Esports Entertainment Group landed affiliate agreements with 34 esports teams from Latin America. How important and potentially lucrative is the Latin American market?
The LATAM esports market is growing very rapidly at the moment so mathematically it stands to reason it will become lucrative. However in esports you need to take into the account that the fan base are global and just because a team is based in a specific region does not necessarily mean their fan base is.
AI: Do you envisage traditional affiliate marketing infiltrating the esports industry anytime soon?
SO: Yes and no. We will probably see a few traditional affiliates enter into esports but I think this demographic requires a slightly different approach than your traditional casino or sports betting player. This being said we have entered deals with several large traditional affiliates. They have taken an interest in us because of our business model and we hope to have just as strong relationships to them as we do to our teams and streamers.
AI: Does influencer marketing play a part on how Esports Entertainment Group promotes its brands to new consumers?
SO: Yes, we work closely with influencers and gladly listen to their expertise. These influencers have extensive fanbases and often reaches out across the globe. They know what their fans and followers like and we make sure to pay attention. We value our partnered affiliates and put trust in them, just as they do in us. This market is ever changing and esports in particular is hard to predict. So its very important to us to have good communication with our partners at all times.
AI: Looking to the future, what plans are in place for the remainder of 2018 and beyond?
SO: We are working closely with our financial backers to ensure we have proper funding in place so that we can continue to execute our growth plans. In fact we expect to enter into a phase of rapid growth next year as we execute and launch new products for the players like our new pool betting option.
Visit the Esports Entertainment Group website here.