Why credit unions should get involved in eSports and the world of video games!

by Kwesi Charles, CredUView Consulting & Cooperative Capital Limited

Hey Friends,

As always, how you doing?

It’s a new year and like with everything else, I can guarantee you have new goals. For most units, here in Trinidad and Tobago; a key factor is operating post the full implementation of IFRS 9, similar to that of CECL in the USA. One popular request by some of my clients [financial institutions and other brands] has been: Hey Kwesi, how do I get my CU Involved in this eGaming/eSports growth? Or the more important question being – Hey Kwesi, how do I increase my millennial & youth membership through esports? That being said, everyone is aware how immensely popular eGaming has globally [+40% 2018 Growth to more than USD1B], especially among the millennial and Gen Z markets, and this now creates an opportunity for Credit Unions to be involved given their desire to attract same. I am sure upon reading this your mind would run on the infamous Fortnite or FIFA or even the good old Super Mario Brothers.

According to research, esports is defined as video games played in a competitive environment for both live and digital viewership.

Before I get into the detail, this picture says it all:

Now to further emphasize why you should be involved:

  • It attracts the highly sought after Millennials & Generation Z – We all know the challenges with these digital natives which goes again the historical operations of most credit unions. The phenomenal growth of esports present an opportunity to access the market but also create an alignment with the credit union brand and an activity which the target markets consume.
  • eSports Viewership is Rivaling Traditional Sports – Many of you would have engaged traditional sports as a means of reaching a particular market whether it be Millennials, Gen Z and those that came before. High profile physical sporting events with millions of viewers have become ultra-expensive and out of most Credit Unions’ budgets. Here comes eSports. Viewership….both digital and live carries a hefty premium within the esports world. Some events for games such as Dota2, League of Legends have Partnering with events which may come at a lower cost in some instances creates an opportunity for your brand to be both viewed and interacted with. This means it’s a win won for you.
  • eSports Generates Content: We all know the meteoric rise of online content creation since its early beginnings of Ronaldinho and the golden boots. In 2018, amateur content creates an insurmountable amount of connectedness and contagiousness that brands are just aligning themselves. Newzoo states there are approximately 199M+ gamers in the USA. If you look at the Top 10 Youtubers, you would realise how many create Video Game Based content. People like to watch things they connect too and competitive gaming creates that feel. Align your credit union to content around video/pc/mobile gaming competitions and you’ll be noticed.
  • Video Games and Learning: The world continues to change. New skills are constantly replacing traditional skills. Gaming is not only a form of recreation but it can be integrated into learning. Research has shown that games help both in deductive reasoning and strategy to name a few. Have a slight think about it and you will realize the same. Even Board Games can be used in this instance. Align the credit union brand with a learning effort within this space and you’ll definitely be the beneficiary of this market.

According to research as mentioned earlier, these are the reasons why most brands are getting involved in eSports:

Having noted the information, the rightful question will be: HOW CAN MY CREDIT UNION GET INVOLVED? Some suggestions are stated below:

  • Sponsorship of eGaming Tournaments & Teams
  • Creation of Digital and Interactive Engagement Zones during major or community based live stream events
  • Hosting of Local Community Events within Direct Membership or Partner Membership
  • Use of Credit Union Products such as VISA Cards to be used by Gamers when Playing – Resource positioning
  • Creation of Video Game Learning Spaces – Partnerships with Schools, Universities and Local Libraries
  • Cross Industry Alignment – Example: A Credit Union supporting a Mattress company who then markets the mattresses to gamers after a long night of gaming
  • Provision of In Game Rewards – Reward target members with Video Game Currency for Games such as Fortnite and FIFA
  • Tap Into Gaming Culture – Create competitions such as Most Creative Fortnite Emotes [dances] while allowing users to share content and get their followers involved. Major win for your organization.

In case you are not yet convinced, I’m sure the picture below will assist your understanding. Don’t they look like your target member?

Happy 2019!

Kwesi Charles

Kwesi Charles

Kwesi Charles is the founder of CredUView Consulting & Cooperative Capital Limited. A Finance Professional and Video Gamer at heart, CredUView works with Credit Unions, Banks and Other financial institutions ... Details

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