In 2023, the Cynopsis Esports & Gaming Business Summit is the only conference that connects marketers to the elusive GenZ audience, through the lens of gaming and esports. This three-day gathering offers attendees the chance to connect with executives and experts from brands, agencies, game publishers, tech providers, teams, and leagues, as well as TV and video platforms. Everyone is looking to grow their business by leveraging the passionate global audience that gaming and esports delivers – and we’re the only conference that can help you make it happen. Join us!
Case study: The Real Change Challenge (MTN Dew + Cxmmunity Media)
MTN DEW® is doubling down on its commitment to uplift diverse gamers with the return of the MTN DEW Real Change Challenge in 2023.
Teaming up with Cxmmunity Media, a champion of diversity and equity in gaming and creators of the HBCU Esports League, the Real Change Challenge will be open to all current HBCU students. Contestants will compete for a share of the impressive $500,000 prize pool, coaching, and exposure to esports professionals.
This year, the challenge focuses on promoting representation in esports and gaming, supporting HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) student gamers. The nationwide tournament will feature Mortal Kombat 1, the latest installment in the renowned Mortal Kombat franchise. Hear from the pros that ran this year’s Challenge in October – what worked and what didn’t – and the plan for next year.
How does the esports industry move on from a year marked by cost-cutting, shrinking investment, and grim forecasts? Industry leaders will review 2023’s biggest challenges as well as the tangible opportunities for the competitive gaming industry in 2024.
We all know that live entertainment is merging with gaming in more authentic and successful ways than ever before. One of the more unusual trends? Using esports and gaming as a pathway to real-life activities and careers. We will showcase two examples of this from pros who are in the driver’s seat. Racing Prodigy provides opportunities for virtual racers to transition to racing real cars on real tracks. Nick McMillen, Racing Prodigy advisor and winner of the 2013 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy, will contribute his perspective on the international virtual-to-reality competition in which Gran Turismo players competed to become real life racecar drivers, and how his career has evolved since the win. Listen in to how deals are structured, their track records, and how this sector is evolving in 2024.
The hype around gaming is real. With revenue expected to surpass $500 billion by 2027, video games have some of the most enthusiastic fan bases around. We’ve entered a new era of fandom: An era in which fans are empowered to embrace all their passions and participate in fan culture in ways that add value to their lives. How and why do today’s gaming fans participate in fandoms? And what does this mean for brands seeking to engage with gamers today? Bill Young, Head of Games, Twitch Ads, answers these questions and more in our session highlighting findings from our Anatomy of Hype global research study.
Authenticity is Everything: How DoorDash Broke into the Gaming Space through Powerful Partnerships
Hannah Tsumoto, who has led the gamer and esports marketing strategy at DoorDash for the last 2 years, will share her experience in engaging the gaming audience in an authentic way by partnering with publishers and studios. From an influencer gaming tournament showcasing 11 brands to aligning fan-favorite restaurant promotions with game launch moments, IP-alliance can bring more engagement, buzz and loyalty through combined brand efforts.
Verizon has done a lot in the gaming space over a short period of time. This talk will focus on recent key wins in esports across League of Legends and Valorant, and how Verizon reaches a North American audience with global properties. Then we will shift gears to talk about how the Twitch partnership is driving collaborative innovation to deliver never-before-seen experiences for fans and creators alike.
Emerging Opportunities in Gaming Investment
Need to build your business? Then look no further. This expert panel will break down trends in the industry as we prep to enter 2024, opportunities for refocusing your company, and untapped industries and brands that are ripe for pitching.
Building Returns on Investment in Mobile Gaming
Mobile remains one of the most rapidly growing industries in both gaming and esports, but North American and Western European organizations have struggled to wrap their heads around the opportunity in handheld competitive gaming. This session will explore the value proposition of mobile esports, how mobile competition has fared in 2023 and how to posiiton your company within the mobile game market in the next few years.
Publisher Spotlight: Ubisoft
Ubisoft and BLAST: Building thriving esports ecosystems
Join Ubisoft and BLAST as they present expectations for Rainbow Six Siege esports in 2024, trends in the relationship between publishers and esports, and what they predict will define the next three years for both gaming and esports.
Measuring Success: The Tools that Matter to Understand Gaming’s Value
Proving return on investment is more important than ever, as is understanding the tools available to underpin it. With multiple branches of business and shifting preferences, however, producing evidence of your organization’s value can be tough. That’s why you’ll want to hear from experts in programming optimization and brand valuation who’ll show you how to realistically build the case for your business and illusrate ROI to brand partners.
Hundreds of games. Dozens of leagues. Thousands of teams, brands and supporting businesses. This panel will break down what “esports” means, its influence on mainstream culture, and the basics for people hoping to understand the industry and get the most out of EBS.
Dos and Don’ts of Building An Esports Program
The past year has taught us plenty about what works, and what doesn’t, for the esports audience and as a competitive gaming business. Regardless of your company’s focus, there are some hard-and-fast truths that are distinct to running a successful esports or gaming company. We’ll break down what those are and how to create a proper foundation for your organization, whether it’s a long-standing business or a fresh startup.
The Next Generation of Branded Media Partnerships
Hear how Xfinity’s sponsorship & media teams successfully collaborated to build branded media partnerships across social media, paid media, and event experiences to reach diverse, broad audiences and drive home the message of the next generation Xfinity 10G Network – and how you can do the same for your business.
While Ally has a long history in supporting gaming through builds in Minecraft and Animal Crossing, Ally is now building partnerships and experiences that meet gamers where they are and allow them to understand the benefit of having an ally in their corner. In this session, Ally will discuss the two unique, gamer-centric islands they have built in Fortnite, the most recent of which made them one of the first brands to utilize UEFN technology. Their relationship with Rocket League has resulted in the crossover of RL into FN, which also makes Ally the first third party to live stream an esports tournament (RLCS Spring Major) in Fortnite Creative.
Despite the frequent chatter, the news of an “esports winter” doesn’t seem to be reaching fans. With several areas of fandom still on the rise, the prospect for eyeballs and engagement is still there. But as the industry matures beyond its rapid growth phase, brands, leagues and teams will need to be more strategic in how they engage with fans. What’s most likely to draw in new fans, who are they, and how are they different from the more established esports audiences? In this session, YouGov will share new research that drills deeper into various stages of esports fandom to uncover untapped opportunities for investment and growth, before being joined by Team Liquid to discuss how they are leveraging data to more strategically learn about and engage their fan base.
More than the Mario Movie: Take Advantage of the Intersection of Entertainment and Gaming
Hollywood is embracing gaming culture more than ever before. We’ll discuss why the larger entertainment industry is embracing gaming and the opportunities it presents for synergies between the business world you might know and the esports and gaming frontier.
The Future of Brand Engagement: Why immersive gaming platforms matter and need to be in your marketing plan.
The interactive and immersive spaces that make up the metaverse are where young consumers spend massive amounts of their time. If your brand isn’t committed to meeting them in this land they love, you are destined to miss out on building your next generation of customers. But how do you jump in? Our panel of experts and brand leaders will explore how to capitalize on emerging trends in digital experience platforms like Roblox to create and sustain a meaningful presence. They will share the latest strategies and tactics to produce immersive content that resonates with and drives value for a brand’s target audience and how to access and interpret data and analytics to optimize your content for maximum visibility and engagement. The panelists will also discuss why this emerging social media channel needs to be part of everyone’s media mix- both to stay ahead of the competition and also to be at the forefront of where brands and consumers will form the strongest relationships in the coming decade and beyond.
Amateur Ecosystems: Exploring Grassroots Esports and Gaming
While marquee events with millions in viewers and prize pools get most of the headlines, esports was built on, and thrives because of, the efforts of grassroots organizations and pipelines to that higher-level play. Organizers of these hyper-endemic leagues and associations will explain what they do, why it matters to both players and brands, and how amateur esports help build a more healthy ecosystem.
1. Explore the current state of the esports entertainment industry, and the essential roles that the physical venues and live events continue to play related to bringing fans and consumers together for esports, gaming, pop-culture, and broad scale new forms of entertainment.2. Share insights toward successful business approaches related to robust programming diversity, revenue generation strategy and venue operations.
The line between esports and live entertainment events is blurring, mingling with art, culture, music, fashion, and gaming. As entertainment experiences continue to diversify and challenge the expectations of venues, amenities and products, fans are finding new ways — both physical and digital — to connect with one another and the content they align with. As a global leader in entertainment and sports venue design, Populous is constantly looking toward future trends and evolving fan behavioral patterns. Brian Mirakian will provide insight into the importance of immersive new forms of connectivity by evaluating the current state of the industry. This session will offer a view into today’s ever-diversifying landscape of the esports and entertainment industry and an outlook toward the future in response to rapidly evolving fan consumer behaviors. Brian Mirakian, practice leader at Populous and Director of Digital Entertainment for the Americas, will share his insights on how these behaviors are impacting the way venues, places and event experiences are designed to bring people together for powerful shared moments.The HyperX Arena Las Vegas, owned and operated by Allied Esports, is a world leading esports and gaming destination considered the first and most prominent digital entertainment venue on the Las Vegas Strip. Yinghua Chen, newly appointed President & CEO at Allied Esports, as well as its parent company, Allied Gaming & Entertainment, will share insights on the company’s approach to redefining the esports and entertainment landscape, their innovative operational business strategy, view toward wide spectrum programming and some of the recently announced exclusive partnerships.The HyperX Arena has earned a reputation as the premier esports venue in Las Vegas and home to a variety of programming that includes international tournaments, industry events, award shows, broadcast production and original content. The Arena hosts over 200 unique events a year for a diverse range of audiences, alongside its daily access to the public. Both local and national tournaments continue to gravitate to the entertainment capital where players and organizers can easily come in, set up, host a tournament in the hyper-adaptive facility, and have some of the best production available to them should they choose to broadcast live. Allied Esports’ vision is to become a leader in the esports and gaming industry by focusing on scalable esports/gaming venue network operations with a strong emphasis on creating a vibrant and engaging gamers’ culture hub through advanced technologies and unique experiences as well as establishing a dynamic platform that connects gamers and content creators to vital components within the gaming and entertainment ecosystem.Yinghua will provide her unique perspective about successful business operations today and a view toward some of the exciting developments to come.
With two-thirds of the US population self-identifying as gamers (227M), traditional entertainment industries are recognizing an enormous consumer engagement opportunity. Beyond gross scope, recent studies suggest that gamers are a rare cohort with cross-genre spending intention, equally likely to spend on in-game purchases as they are live events, pay-per-views and in-app betting. Mobilizing gamers toward sports is a clear opportunity to boost tune-in, drive merch sales, and encourage ticket sales at live events, and will be the lens through which our conversation takes place.
Brand Integration & DEI is Not Mutually Exclusive gamehers, the panel consists of a diverse set of experts, including Zenni Optical, PrizePicks, and AMD.
DeLu Jackson, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at ADT, will discuss how brands can authentically engage with esports and share examples from ADT’s work in the space, including a few exciting partnerships.
Session will be focusing and discussing the value of gaming to our service members and their families, highlighting the efforts of the USO to provide support.
Publisher Spotlight: Bandai Namco
This leading global publisher and developer of interactive entertainment will talk about plans and strategies for 2024 Tekken World Tour, Tekken 8 launch, Dragonball fighters, and The PAC-MAN competitive gaming opportunity.
These Kids Know More than You: How to Build Authenticity and Authority among Gamers
The esports audience is a digitally native, highly engaged and extremely knowledgeable demographic with both deep understanding of their fandoms and skepticism of new entrants and even changes from their favorite companies. Experts in audience-building will explain how they’ve built authenticity in the space and how you can best grow your brand.
Leveraging Emerging Technology in Gaming
Metaverse conversations look very different now thanks to the mainstream rise of content creation tools on game platforms like Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite, but web3 and digital world creation exist beyond building off of existing real estate. Those in the trenches of the next generation of the internet and gaming will discuss how the market has shifted, their thoughts on skepticism of the space and how organizations can still build business and significant value by understanding and activating in the metaverse and web3.
Despite a 150% growth in women’s esports viewership year-over-year and expansion of opportunities for underrepresented persons through new tournament series, there is still much work to do to move toward a more equitable esports space. Experts will discuss how the scene has improved, how to make your business more DE&I friendly and what the industry can do as a whole to build a better culture for minority groups.
With help from the Las Vegas Department of Youth Development and Social Initiatives, six Gen Z gamers will gather to share their perspectives on advertising in gaming: how they like to be marketed to, what turns them off, which brands and products they actually use, and why. This will be a candid, no-holds-barred conversation, so come armed with your questions and queries!
Brand Camp: PacSun
The session will focus on Pacsun’s recent collaborations with Roblox and esports organizations such as Cloud9, FaZeClan, and Riot Games. Richard will show how Pacsun constantly monitors customer behavior through sales data, social media, events, and networking to help develop marketing activations and exclusive product that resonates with Gen Z, its core demographic. Pacsun’s notable success showcases the brand’s commitment to engage with its community where they are.
Brand Camp: Old Spice
What does it mean to be AUTHENTIC in the gaming space? In this joint presentation, Old Spice and United Esports will break down the success of their “Give Odor The Bird” campaign, and share key insights to their approach. This session will help any brand ensure the gaming audience sees incredible value from their presence.
Brand Camp: Temptations
In a first-of-its-kind partnership for Temptations and Parent organization Mars Petcare, Misfits and Temptations worked together to build a wholistic, 360-degree partnership that spans from in-game activations in TubNet, to creator commercials and sponsored content, to integrating the brand into IRL live events featuring some of the world’s biggest gaming creators. By listening to the community and leaning into what the audience wanted, they found the puuurfect way to engage fans in a fun, authentic, and new way that drove brand awareness, affinity, and conversion.
Using Social Platforms as Disruption Tools in Gaming
First, it was YouTube. Then, we had Twitter and Snapchat. And now, TikTok, and competitors like YouTube trying to catch back up, are presenting some of the highest potential for monetization for gaming companies. However, outside of programmatic revenue, few organizations have a market strategy that capitalizes on shortform content. Industry experts will share their successes (and shortcomings) in building around new social platforms as well as what might be next in the future of video content, both short and longform.
Publisher Spotlight: Capcom
Brand Camp: Aramark
Leveling Up Together: The Power of Esports Partnerships with Monumental Sports & Entertainment and Aramark Sports + Entertainment
Join us for an exciting partner discussion between leaders in regional esports activation Monumental Sports & Entertainment and partner Aramark Sports + Entertainment that delves into the dynamic world of esports partnerships. Esports has rapidly evolved from a niche subculture into a global phenomenon, and partnerships have played a pivotal role in this transformation. Representatives for each organization will share their individual insights, experiences, and approach to esports and discuss the successful facets of their partnership on the esports and entertainment hub for the east coast, District E Powered by Ticketmaster.
Where Gaming Lives: Platforms, Communities, and the Many Faces of Competition
PC play gets a lot of the attention, but esports exists across multiple platforms, with many regions having different preferences on where they play. We’ll break down what the space looks like globally, both in terms of genres and hardware, explain why these differences exist and explore what opportunities the differences in platform present.
Esports and Education: Creating Pipelines and Providing Career Pathways
As competitive gaming has grown, so have ecosystems to support it in educational settings. And with how many pathways the esports industry charts into — from being a player to production, marketing, social media management, event planning, and much more — it’s vital to understand how esports and competitive programs in secondary and higher ed can benefit kids and the schools that provide them. Join our experts in a discussion of how the esports industry and education intersect and why that connection is so important for both educators and their students.
Gambling’s Place in the Gaming Landscape
Gambling is one of the hottest topics in gaming, from competitive organizations picking up sponsorships from the gambling industry to gamification of titles that include pseudo-gambling elements and streaming platforms supporting betting. Experts will share where they think this trend is headed, why it matters and the obstacles and opportunities for gambling in games.