Australian media and software company Mogul (ASX: ESH) has taken a bold step into the next generation of eSports by entering into a “first of its kind” partnership with professional team Legacy Esports.
The company said that the partnership agreement is part of its expansion strategy which is actively targeting key partners and organisers to drive active player growth and supplements its existing collaboration with Oceania-based Pro League team ORDER, a professional outfit that competes at events around the world, for substantial prize money pools reaching into the millions of dollars.
Mogul and Legacy have agreed to stage a series of tournaments and will seek to find synergies between their respective audiences – as part of a bid to capitalise on the emerging eSports industry.
Currently, the Adelaide Crows have a 600,000-strong fan base which partially overlaps the target audience for eSports events and promotions.
Esports is an entirely new concept that has grown in popularity since the late 1990s in parallel with the strong growth in internet connection speeds, computer sophistication and a mushrooming game development industry that now eclipses revenues generated by blockbuster Hollywood movies and popular music artists.
According to Newzoo, eSports is one of the fastest growing industries in the world –estimated to have around 2.3 billion gamers across all platforms globally, as part of a games market estimated to be worth over US$137.9 billion (A$194 billion).
Growing sporting legacy
Legacy is currently owned by AFL team Adelaide Crows, a team it acquired in early 2018 in order to join a growing trend of collaboration between video gaming and athletic sports.
The move was an effective move to capitalise on the rapidly growing eSports industry and a means of broadening the scope of its fan engagement, brand and commercial platform.
More broadly, the AFL team emulated similar tie-ups conducted between eSports and traditional sports teams, namely the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, German football club FC Schalke 04, French football club Paris Saint-Germain and Spanish football club Valencia CF.
One of the major considerations and catalysts for such deals is the growing focus towards younger audiences in the 14-to-34-year age group in order to boost sponsorship.
The deal between Mogul and Legacy means the duo will provide joint growth avenues for both parties by hosting tournaments on Mogul, the company’s flagship tournament platform.
The partnership is expected to bring about strategic synergy including “generating competitive eSports interest from communities and expanding into the mainstream sports landscape”, according to Mogul.
The two parties have agreed to join forces to devise and orchestrate ongoing community engagements and charitable events, to push Mogul deeper into the esports scene as well as mainstream communities.
As part of the agreement announced today, Legacy players will be able to participate in Mogul’s online tournaments and compete for cash prizes. Furthermore, the strategic agreement will also see Legacy promoting and encouraging its fan base to actively participate in Mogul tournaments.
Mogul confirmed that in the first partnered tournament series members of the public can go head-to-head with Legacy’s world-class players with a chance of winning cutting-edge gaming laptops provided by Mogul’s existing partner Razer.
As one of his first major actions since joining Mogul, chief strategy and commercial officer Jamie Skella said that “Mogul couldn’t be prouder to work together with the iconic Legacy Esports as a landmark partnership for the region.
One of many forthcoming partnerships of this kind, it represents our ability to support the industry with market-leading tournament technology, and have industry actors share in our success as we grow.”
“This partnership model is truly win-win in nature – I’m excited about the role it will play as an economic accelerator for everyone involved,” he added.
This morning’s news helped push Mogul shares up to $0.015 per share, up around 25% in morning trade.