In this series, I’m going to discuss the different aspects of an Esports Organization’s business model, why it’s important, and the way I see it getting implemented to drive your business forward.
Table of Contents:
In today’s segmented media landscape, it’s more important than ever to have a single source of truth. Your website. Twitter is fantastic for updates, Instagram is a great place to share your snapshots, YouTube is like your companies own TV station. But your website…your website is the place your audience, partners, and investors should go to find out the critical information about your organization. A few of the must-have components of any esports website are:
Management — Who actually owns or runs this organization? Social media is not a good solution here as there are tons of fake accounts and as your org grows more successful, the number of imposters will accelerate.
Rosters — Similar to management, this is the verified list of your rosters. That random guy on Twitter who has your tag in his profile? Go ahead and ask him to remove it, but your website is the place where people can 100% know who is who.
Announcements — Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely jealous that an app like TwitLonger has become so widely used (why didn’t I think of that?!?), but let’s acknowledge it’s not the most professional way to share information. Enter your website’s news/blog/announcement section. Custom announcements that can only be found on your website are a GREAT way to drive traffic to your site. Making a roster change? Make the announcement on Twitter/IG and link back to your website. New sponsor? Perfect, tell the world why they are amazing.
Sponsors — I listed sponsors 4th, not because it’s the 4th most important, but because the first 3 items all help promote your sponsors. All these other reasons for people to visit your site adds additional exposure to your sponsors.
Video Content — This is the most advanced aspect of your website and is reserved for Org’s who have truly created a fan base and a brand. The current options for hosting videos, YouTube for 99% of you, are effective in the early stages of growth. However, the beauty of the YT business model (for them, not you) is this: they have OTHER PEOPLE create their content for them and when that content becomes popular, YT reaps just as much benefit as the creator itself. Again, this is great for early-stage companies because YT can actually help you get recognized where you otherwise would not be found. But once you really build your brand and audience, it’s time to host your own videos. Why? Because after you back out the minimal hosting costs, you keep 100% of your advertising revenue. The split is different for every creator within YT, but it’s safe to say you are paying Alphabet a hefty share of every dollar you earn. So instead of splitting your earned advertising dollars with a middleman, you can go directly to your advertisers and keep a far greater share of the proceeds.
Now that you have a better understanding of why your website is
important as well as the things you should be using it for; what are the best ways to go about creating, hosting, and managing a professional esports website? You have a few options:
- Custom — Your total available capital will likely be the biggest factor in deciding if this is an option for you. Every situation is different, but I’d say you need to budget around $10,000/year for a fully customized solution. Why so expensive? Because every.single.change. you make will need to be done by someone familiar with Git repositories, databases, HTML/CSS, some type of front-end framework (React, Angular, Due, etc), and a back-end language (Node.js, Java, PHP). That type of labor is not cheap. If you don’t know anything about the things I just listed, then it’s safe to say a customized website is going to cost you. This is TOTALLY fine if you have the available capital to manage all of this. But if you are on a legitimate budget, this will likely not be a good solution.
- Semi-Custom/Template — This is the area where the vast majority of orgs will fall. Shopify, Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix all fall in this category. Each of these has their own list and pros and cons but I’ll sum it up for you as succinctly as possible. None of these platforms are esports specific and some of them are so complex that you’ll likely need a manager of some sort to keep it updated for you (WordPress). It’s likely that with any of these solutions, you can get by just fine. But your site will never fully fit the needs of a functioning esports organization. It will be close but will leave you wanting more.
- Esports Specific Solutions — This is where the magic lies. The perfect concoction of affordability + customization + tools that fit the needs of today’s organizations. There are a few solutions available today but there is only one that was built from scratch, based on the needs of modern esports orgs… Origin.GG. The platform is perfect for new organizations. I know this because we use it daily at Disrupt Gaming. You currently have 3 themes to choose from (4th coming by EOY) and a host of tools that allow you to create updates, manage your various types of rosters (staff, competitive, content) and share your content. Add to all of this a $24.99/month price point and SSL security, and it’s really a value that can’t be beat.
That’s it for Chapter 1 of my Esports Management Series. You can read Chapter 2 on Video content here. Thanks for reading!