TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACK 045: Weedmaps and Smash
TNL Take: Weed. Video Games. Chips. Soda. Lazy.
Just like the stereotypical view of a Gamer being a "boy in the basement" - unfortunately they're all false.
Some quick facts:
- The 2016 US Market is estimated at $7B
- Colorado made $1B in Marijuana tax revenue - $35M went to school construction
- This election, California, Nevada and Massachusetts all voted to approve recreational use
- Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN even changed his view after doing a ton of research
So Weed and eSports?
For sure. I'm not saying it's going to help you win in Counter-Strike but it's not going anywhere.
Here's an Exclusive interview with Cody Dragon, the Director of eSports and Gaming for Weedmaps
Isn't that the best name and job title ever?
TNL: Lets get straight to the point. Weed. Video Games. That’s been the PB&J of growing up since the 80’s. It’s not why now - why wasn’t it sooner?
CD: That’s a very easy question to answer. In the 80’s, the public consumption of marijuana in gaming and other recreational activities was shunned both politically and socially. Today we are in a more open culture that is accepting of the alliance between sport and the use of marijuana much like alcohol. We are also more fortunate that the political climate around the country is much more open to marijuana as well.
TNL: Weed’s Worldwide Ambassador - Snoop Dogg- started the Hip Hop Gaming League - essentially an eSports League back in 2006. Where do you see the crossover between Weed, Music and eSports?
The crossover has arrived. In Sport. In Television. In Movies. In Politics. In Music. And for sure in gaming. We are in a new place with how marijuana is used, viewed and publicly accepted. We see the crossover expanding, especially with recreational legalization.
TNL: There’s a large majority of people in this country who don’t realize that 60% of US Adults want Marijuana legalization and 15% claim to smoke on a regular basis. It’s almost the same stigma of the eSports or Gaming enthusiast being a teen in the basement, when they’re actually on average 25, many make $100k+ year and the average age on Xbox Live is 30+. Will both of these stereotypes change soon?
This is a very difficult question for any one organization or person to answer in a definitive ‘yes’ or ’no.’ As the tide changes and date points are more readily available to consumers around the world regarding all sports of consumer facts, we could only hope that with the enhanced sophistication of Esports and gaming, that this stigma will change. How soon, we don’t know.
TNL: I think the FGC eSports community is amazing and underserved. They’re probably the most grassroots movement in eSports still. Why a Smash tournament?
Smash, and the FGC overall, to us is the epitome of community driven success in the world of Esports. The storylines, the personalities, and most of all the love of the game amongst the players is a really great place to call home for sponsors and competitors alike. In an industry that is focused on lights, camera, action, we wanted to push in a different direction for this event.
TNL: Any comment from Nintendo after the event?
TNL: Without a budget constraint, what eSports activation or sponsorship would you want for Weedmaps?
As an alternative lifestyle sponsor, our goal at Weedmaps is to take gamers and this industry to places it has never been before. There isn't one particular sponsorship or activation that will solidify our space in the industry.
It will be an accumulation of events that create our reputation. So far, everything we've done has been a dream come true for us and the players alike. From the Halo:CE Beach LAN, to the Anaheim Gaming House, we are thrilled to be where we are in such a short amount of time. We live by a basic message: Community first, and the rest will come.
Thanks for your time Cody....and I gotta end with this because it is Friday