Ministry of Sport

Sarah Jane Kelly: Esports and what they mean for sports marketing

In our sixth interview of our Annual Conference speaker series, we talk with Associate Professor, Law & Marketing University of QLD, Sarah Jane Kelly.

Looking at everything that has and hasn’t worked in the sports marketing industry in the past year, whilst also showcasing major players, innovators and game changers disrupting the sports industry – these interviews will offer a preview to the kind of insights on display to administrators in November.

With the Annual Conference at QT Gold Coast on Thursday, November 15th drawing near, you can find more information about the event on our event page or for ticket purchases you can visit oztix here.

Sarah is leading a global sports innovation accelerator at UQ, and has been a judge and mentor for two of these accelerators, including pitching finals during the NBA Allstars event in LA and the Commonwealth Games.

She has interdisciplinary expertise in marketing, psychology and law and is globally known for her research and consulting sports marketing and law and has influenced national policy and practice in her fields.

Sarah is also an educational specialist, having won awards for her tertiary teaching, and having led the UQ MBA program to a ranking of number 1 in Australasia and number 10 globally during her tenure as MBA Director from 2013-2017.

1. What will you be covering during your presentation at the Ministry of Sports Annual Conference?

Esports is the fastest growing content for young consumers and has evolved into a legitimate sport. It represents a huge opportunity for sponsors and traditional sporting brands to engage through sponsorship and diversification. However, there are risks and challenges uniquely associated with esports, which this session will highlight.

2. What are the key learnings that attendees will take away?

  1. Insight into the esports ecosystem and key trends;
  2. How sports consumption is rapidly evolving among Millennials and Gen Z;
  3. Commercialisation opportunity and challenges associated with esports
  4. Some examples of successful brand activation and partnering with esports

3. Why is this presentation important for sports administrators right now?

Esports are a burgeoning phenomenon now engrained in the millennial and Gen Z consumer markets. The global esports market is expected to top $922 million in 2018, with an estimated 400 million fans across the world. Sponsorship, prize money and reach of esports elevate it to one of the most lucrative spaces in entertainment and sport and the live streaming nature of esports consumption has transformed the way traditional sports will be consumed in the future. As esports have become increasingly mainstream, traditional sports including the NFL, NBA, AFL and A-League have steadily joined the ranks. The structure of esports is now reflecting that of traditional sports, with tournaments, teams, drafts, pro players and sponsorship all part of the ecosystem. But why should sports diversify into esports? What are the opportunities? What are the risks? Who are the influencers and how is consumption of sports changing? How are sponsors successfully partnering with esports?

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney