To celebrate the global HYPE SPIN Accelerator program, Ministry of Sport has partnered with the University of Queensland (UQ) to deliver the 2019 Tech In Sport event at Victoria Park in Brisbane on July 10th.
The HYPE UQ SPIN Accelerator is a global program that was developed to champion entrepreneurship and sports tech innovation, whilst providing access to mentors and investors from around the world to fast-track promising local startups onto the world stage.
In the lead-up to the event, Ministry of Sport is interviewing the final 10 graduates about their cutting edge sports tech products, as they prepare their final pitches for the chance to win $25,000 and entry to one of AusTrade’s Landing Pad programs.
Founded in 2018, SG Esports is an esports media business helping brands connect with esports and gaming audience via the company’s esports assets. SG Esports also has a professional esports team, Gravitas, in the Oceanic Pro League that plays League of Legends on Friday and Saturday nights on Twitch and YouTube.
Ministry of Sport had a chat with Sean Callanan, CEO of SG Esports, about the company and their involvement in the HYPE SPIN Accelerator program.
Q1: Why did you start this business?
Sean Callanan from Sports Geek was awarded the 8th team license in the OPL in November 2018. We have built SG Esports to leverage our League of Legends team, Gravitas, using digital best practice methods used at Sports Geek to grow and engage digital fan bases.
Q2: Is there another product like this in the market place? How is yours different?
There are many esports teams both internationally and in Australia. Where SG Esports is different is in the business models we are developing to support our business going forward. We are widening our business beyond team ownership to include partnerships with grassroots groups/communities and other esports related entities. Additionally, we are opening up our sponsorship offer to include major events like Melbourne Esports Open (MEO) and reaching grassroots gamers via our partnership with Summoners’ Society. We have also launched a team based membership offer. No esports team in the Oceania region offers a membership package of similar scale, and it is a model that can be sold or white labelled for other esports teams/businesses.
Q3: What are some key lessons you have learned on the journey so far?
Brands are very much interested in esports but need more education and data to validate the audience to invest in esports as brands. We have been helping them understand the esports landscape, and Sean’s experience in helping sponsors activate in traditional sports has helped brands see the similarities that can be made in execution.
Q4: What are your plans for the future?
The Esports industry is primed to grow within Australia, following the growth in the US and Europe, especially as verticals across team management, grassroots and digital are implemented and improved. SG Esports is focused on growing into a global esports media business, building out the digital and technology ecosystem within esports, through team partnerships and activities and the acquisition of additional esports properties.
Q5: What has your experience been like in the UQ HYPE SPIN accelerator program?
We’ve really enjoyed the 1-on-1 mentoring sessions provided at UQ from the likes of Peter Laurie, Sarah Kelly and Ran Heimann. Their feedback along with the HYPE team have helped refine our investor pitch ready for the Pitch Competition on the 10th.