Building a Brand for Your Esports Athletes, Home and Away

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A host of traditional sports teams have entered the eSports market in the past year, and the business of planning and executing forays into competitive gaming has become a lucrative opportunity for agencies and consultants alike. For example, ESL recently partnered with Qwatti, an eSports agency specializing in working with sports clubs to build an eSports presence. With the increasing number of football clubs entering the esports industry, reputation of eSports appeared on our radar. ESR is a Berlin and Munich based company focused on FIFA and its German-speaking markets.

We spoke to ESR COO Michael Berchtold and Esports Director Joshua Begehr about the company, the market and their current challenges. ESR currently manages 20 European top tier FIFA Players including Cihan “Cihan” Yasarlar, Kai “deto” Wollin, and Thomas “Janthana” Temperli. The company sees its future with Bundesliga clubs – ten of which are already in talks with ESR. “The question is no longer whether to found a FIFA team, but only the timing and execution,” says Berchtold.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]eSports Reputation offers individual coaching, legal advice and even help with schoolwork[/perfectpullquote]

ESR sees itself as more than just an agency business for esports players and, with individual coaching, legal advice and even help with schoolwork, offers services that go far beyond classic contract finding and negotiation for young players. “A comprehensive support network for young athletes,” says Joshua Begehr. He knows what players need became world champion in 2009 and won a dozen titles as a coach. Coaching services can usually start early as the company is always monitoring hundreds of young players and on the lookout for new breakthrough talent. “Our youngest talent is twelve years old. In close cooperation with the parents, we support him with technical, tactical and mental training as well as with fitness and nutrition,” says Beehr.

ESR recognizes the importance of branding and helps its FIFA players to build personal brands in the digital and non-digital space by collaborating with German media heavyweights: Bild, Welt, N24, Sport1, ARD and ZDF. Through this cooperation, the players of the ESR can increase their presence on all relevant media channels. As an agency, ESR also helps its players by facilitating business deals at events, such as testimonials and advertising.

“We support several top football clubs in Germany, Italy, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland to build their FIFA teams,” says Berchtold, who predicts that FIFA’s success in Europe is unstoppable. ESR sees enormous medium-term potential for FIFA in the Asian market, particularly in China. “In the end, China will be soccer world champion in 2050,” says Begehr. “What could be better than using the video game FIFA to increase the interest of young Chinese audiences in real-life sports?” says Begehr.

ESR recently signed European League of Legends player Tristan “Power Of Evil” Schrage, who plays for Team Misfits. According to Berchtold, this was the first step into ESR League of Legends and other games extension.

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