Influencer marketing is the best way for brands to reach a target audience. Locating and cultivating those streamers, however, is a difficult task due to the closed nature of some communities. This is where Matt Fuller and Mike Bruhin found their business opportunity and started Sports Gamers Now. SGN is an esports org finding and building influencers through a ground-up approach based upon the fundamental principle of sharing the wealth. Co-founder Matt Fuller was very adamant and clear about his belief in this.
“We have the ability to generate enough for everyone,” Fuller said. “That means the website as well as the gamers and streamers who participate. This means creating quality entertainment that people will pay for and rewarding those who put in the work”.
Building upon this understanding, SGN starts by seeking streamers who have personality, skill and style.
“There are so many great streamers out there who are good at what they do,” Bruhin said. “They just need some support and guidance”.
That support and guidance looks like a few things. First, it starts a partnered stream with the SGN brand. This means more eyes and better distribution through social media as well as other content creation.
Second, streamers get a comprehensive, consistent report card on their streaming performance. This feedback focuses on building a full entertainment skill set designed to create a fantastic viewing experience.
Third, SGN puts their talent with a professional caster. This happens because of a solid partnership with CMG Broadcasting. The point here is raising the temperature of the room to create a hyped atmosphere and a better viewing experience.
Credibility in the Team
This plan looks good on the surface. It has all the parts of a winning entertainment formula. Then the question of founder credibility comes into play. Do Matt and Mike really know what they are talking about?
Matt Fuller’s credibility comes from his personal understanding of the grind. He worked as a metal fabricator in a steel sheet mill, as a little league umpire and had several successful sales jobs. The man is serious about what he does. The proof of this lies in his biography. Check that list here.
Mike Bruhin adds his energy to the process through social media and outreach. Bruin’s college coursework at Full Sail University means he brings theory to the team. The combination of Fuller and Bruin means application and theory in a complete package.
The vehicle these men use for their streaming success is a unique one. SGN focuses on sports games like Madden, NBA 2K, as well as the FGC. There is some Call of Duty mixed in for good measure. Shooters still get eyeballs. However, the main focus of SGN is the sports game genre for a very specific reason.
“No one else is doing it,” Fuller said. “There is a real opportunity for brands to reach new audiences through streaming. That’s where we work”.
In a space clearly dominated by a single publisher, Fuller sees real possibilities for growth and new revenue streams for players and streamers.
“Even with EA dominating the market,” Fuller said, “we have the opportunity to encourage other publishers to take the chance with a new sports title. NBA 2K is a great example. I’d like to see a new football game that really focuses on what competitive and casual players want”.
Sharing the Wealth
That brings everything back to the fundamental principle of sharing the wealth. The business model is subscription-based. Site members pay $10/month for online leagues and tournaments. That money, as well as brand sponsorship cash, is put back into the community.
That begs the question of market saturation. There are so many tournament platforms, why do Fuller and Bruin believe people will show up for their product?
“People will pay for quality,” Fuller said. “We have to build the kind of product that people want to watch and products will be associated with.”
That’s the full circle offering:
- Streamers who consistently put out quality streams people will watch. This means consistent performance feedback to improve the viewing experience.
- Capitalize on a game genre not currently getting enough attention.
- Building leagues and ladders in which competitive players will compete and viewers will watch.
The sports game market is definitely due for disruption. EA has the entire thing in a stranglehold, and the only bit of life at the moment is NBA 2k. The fact the game is paired with a professional sports league like the NBA with real support from top to bottom could just be the spark for a whole new set of sports game titles. It also means relief for millions of players who live in the frustrated trap that is the current state of competitive sports gaming.
Featured image courtesy of sportsgamersnow.com