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Q&A: Stéphane Gambetta, Reed MIDEM

Reed MIDEM is launching a second edition of Esports BAR in Miami, an invitation-only event dedicated to the fast-growing world of eSports. Strategy and new development director Stéphane Gambetta explains.

stephane gambettaWhat is the Esports BAR and why did Reed MIDEM decide to launch this event?

Esports BAR is a newly launched Reed MIDEM B2B market created to bring together leaders and executives of eSports organisations, brands, agencies and media face-to-face to define their esports strategy and negotiate sponsorship, broadcasting, content or licensing deals.

Constantly studying the trends impacting the entertainment business, we came across the growing eSports space three years ago and saw how this sector was starting to expand beyond the circle of indigenous players, engaging several of our TV clients who were embarking on eSports projects. With our core strengths focused on building effective business platforms, we thought we could help the sector level up with a dedicated B2B event, and launched the first business market for the international eSports community last February in Cannes: Eports BAR, the world’s eSports business arena.

Our goal was to create a platform to discuss sponsorships and distribution rights among non-indigenous and indigenous brands, media, eSports teams, professional leagues, game publishers and advertising agencies.

What can Reed MIDEM and the Esports BAR provide for the emerging eSports industry?

Being part of Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading exhibition and conference organiser, Reed MIDEM has a trusted reputation for building effective, well-organised and international events. We also have the expertise in serving complex rights markets and have 50 years’ history of helping ­– notably entertainment – businesses grow through international professional markets such as MIPCOM, MIPTV or MIDEM.

Additionally, through our entertainment markets, we have the contacts and industry knowledge of the brand world, with its need to be at the heart of the storytelling and media experience, with both its wish to get into content distribution rights for eSports events as well as its capacity to offer high quality production capabilities to the eSports organisers. As such we believe we have the unique strengths to successfully organise a marketplace of reference for the eSports industry.

How much support has the event received from the industry? 

The first edition has been widely acclaimed. Held in Cannes last February, the event was sold out with a 96% satisfaction rating. There has been a clear demand for a second event in 2017, which has reconfirmed our intention to accompany the strategic development of this rapidly evolving industry for the long term.

To provide the most productive eSports matchmaking experience possible, and better understand the needs of the sector, we’re also supported by an advisory team of leading eSports professionals, which includes Matthieu Dallon, Esport Strategy Director, Webedia and President, France eSports; Sidney Kim, CEO of Rox Tigers and ROX Orcas OverWatch Team; Ralf Reichert, CEO of ESL;  Mike Sepso, Senior VP, Activision Blizzard; Stuart Saw, Twitch’s Director of Esports Strategy; Wouter Sleijffers, CEO of Fnatic; Arnd Benninghoff, EVP, MTG and CEO of MTGx Ventures and Todd Sitrin, SVP & GM Competitive Gaming, EA. We are thrilled that so many renowned professionals have granted us their trust and accepted this role.

What are the basic principles behind the organisation of the event and how does it work?

Esports BAR is a ‘by invitation’ event: its selection process is what makes Esports BAR unique, as it allows us to bring together over 100 people who will benefit most from meeting each other.

Aside from the business insights sessions and a full programme of networking events, Esports BAR is centered around the 1-to-1 summit, offering leading executives a full diary of guaranteed pre-scheduled meetings on site.

What set the inaugural Esports BAR apart from other eSports events is also the high quality of professionals gathered in one place, dedicated to growing eSports into the entertainment of the future.

What are the next steps for Reed MIDEM in this area?

Esports BAR now heads to the United States. The upcoming edition will be held in Miami, 18-20 September 2017.

The U.S. is definitely one of the leading regions in eSports, constantly generating growing revenues from online advertising, sponsorships, media rights, merchandise, tickets, and additional publisher investments. Esports BAR Miami will therefore enable us to be closer

to some of the main actors in the eSports industry and is expected to attract a particularly strong participation from the United States, Latin America and Canada. Yet, being designed as a global event, Esports BAR will still be bringing together executives from more than 20 countries active in the worldwide eSports industry.

And an expanded edition is planned, to be scheduled in Cannes, February 2018. Stay tuned!

Esports BAR – the leading B2B market for the international eSports community – in Miami, Florida, is scheduled for September 18-20: 

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