Okay, fine, I didn’t actually drop a line in the water at the S.E.A.T. conference in Dallas last week. Although, considering the sheer acreage of the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, there probably was a place to do just that.
No, the fishing I am referencing is the proverbial fish out of water. Specifically, my sitting on a panel that discussed e-sports vs. traditional sports to close out the conference’s official agenda. Yes, my career has focused pretty squarely on how sports and entertainment properties use market research and analytics to better understand their fans and sell through that value to their corporate partners. So I could speak to that approach for traditional sports and how it does (or should) apply to e-sports. But the real lesson is realizing the power of looking at a new or different or unfamiliar sport from a professional perspective but not as a fan. That allows an individual or a company to take off the blinders and truly ideate outside of expectations or norms. This precise “outsider” approach worked so well for us at 4FRONT in the work we did on behalf of Cricket Australia and the formation of the Big Bash League a number of years ago.
And I think it’s important for the e-sports ecosystem to make sure it is doing the same – yes on endemic ideas and individuals, but also what’s working elsewhere and how could we do something unexpected (in the best ways!) for the e-sports fan base and corporate marketplace.
Conferences like S.E.A.T. are great for getting you to think outside of your space and understand a global range of viewpoints. And e-sports should keep that flexibility in mind as it grows the business.