EA Madden, NFL, Amazon, Mobile and eSports

EA MADDEN, NFL, AMAZON, MOBILE AND ESPORTS

EA Madden, NFL, Amazon, Mobile and eSports (Graphic: The Next Level)

EA Madden, NFL, Amazon, Mobile and eSports (Graphic: The Next Level)

EA Madden NFL Year over Year Comparison (Infographic: The Next Level)

EA Madden NFL Year over Year Comparison (Infographic: The Next Level)

This is one of three big changes to EA's Club Series with NFL pro teams. While last year started with 8 - Bills, Jaguars, Chiefs, Vikings, Patriots, Eagles, Steelers and the 49ers - this year, it expands to all 32 NFL teams.

 

/02 PRIZE POOL

EA 2017 Club Series Champion Prize (Photo: EA Sports)

EA 2017 Club Series Champion Prize (Photo: EA Sports)

The second big change is the amount of money on the line. Last year's 8 total events were for $10K each along with the Club Finals with a $50K prize pool, bringing 2017's total to ~$130K.

Madden 18's Club Championship total prize pool of $400K+ more than triples last year's total...with a catch.

 

/03 STRUCTURE

In addition to the Club Series Finals being held at Pro Bowl Experience in Orlando, the winner will also receive 2 tickets to Super Bowl LII - another sign of the NFL's involvement.

 

 

/04 TWITCH PRIME

Now is where things start to get really fun.

This past Saturday morning  I found something very interesting posted and tweeted the following:

EA Madden NFL 18 and Twitch Prime Integration (Photo: LinkedIn)

EA Madden NFL 18 and Twitch Prime Integration (Photo: LinkedIn)

The reception from the community was overwhelmingly positive and a YouTube video made just around my Tweet has 20,000+ views currently:

Mr.GoldenMut YouTube Video (Photo: YouTube)

Mr.GoldenMut YouTube Video (Photo: YouTube)

Twitch Prime and EA Madden NFL 18 Promotion (Photo: Twitch)

Twitch Prime and EA Madden NFL 18 Promotion (Photo: Twitch)

I've talked plenty about how Twitch Prime is genius and the ability to lure in publishers is so critical and this is another example.

 

/05 AMAZON'S NFL PROGRAMMING

The Patriots Winning Another Super Bowl (Photo: USA Today. Mark J. Rebilas)

The Patriots Winning Another Super Bowl (Photo: USA Today. Mark J. Rebilas)

In April, Twitch owner Amazon signed a partnership with the NFL for $50M to stream 10 Thursday night games to Amazon Prime members.

Everything is about selling Amazon Prime. Everything is about selling Amazon Prime. Everything is about selling Amazon Prime.

If 500K people sign up for Amazon Prime to get access to the NFL content, Amazon breaks even on the media rights. Even if they don't, it's more marketing and programming for their content chest.

 

/06 MADDEN MOBILE

EA Madden NFL Mobile (Photo: EA Sports)

EA Madden NFL Mobile (Photo: EA Sports)

One of the least publicized success stories in the mobile gaming space is Madden Mobile. During the NFL season the game is consistently in the Top 10 grossing on the App Store.

Go ahead and check where it is right now.

Amazon has invested greatly with Vainglory and mobile eSports and there's further opportunity here as well.

 

/07 TICKETING

I covered this last week with Amazon's potential disruption of another industry - ticketing - and the huge eSports opportunity that it holds.

Now add NFL ticket purchases and all the additional value provided with the points above.

 

/08 NFL INVOLVEMENT

Don't discount the NFL finally getting into eSports and putting their name, marketing and executives behind this initiative.

The NFL is the 800-pound gorilla on top of the media and sports food chain.

 

THE REAL DEAL

 

It's great to see the largest and most popular US sports league jump into the eSports pool.

Now add in cross promotion between EA Madden, watching Thursday NFL games on Amazon, Twitch Prime integration, Mobile, the NFL's marketing machine and the vision starts to emerge.

 

But here's the reality.

 

/01 It’s nowhere close to what Activision-Blizzard is building with their Overwatch League, Riot Games’ North American League of Legends League or the upcoming NBA 2K ELEAGUE with more than half of the pro teams included.

For both the NFL and EA to emulate OWL, LOL, and NBA2KELEAGUE in such a short amount of time would have been a herculean task.  The information for the Madden 18 competitive season was released less than a week before the game launches.

 

/02 The total EA Madden NFL 18 prize pool increased from $1.000M to just $1.153M. EA should clear $750M+ in Ultimate Team earnings from primarily FIFA and Madden this year with continued growth.

Even the Club Series total while seeming high at $400K is the total for 32 teams - when looked at on an individual basis it's also a slight increase over last years $10K prize pool each.

A slight prize pool increase and fewer Athletes being flown out to events - while Ultimate Team dollars continue to flow in.

 

/03 No details were revealed around either Digital or TV distribution but I'd be shocked if the Madden 18 Championships were not either on a Disney platform or The NFL Network.

 

04/ Brands - where are they?

While last years Club Series did have brands present like Gillette and the Patriots, these deals were either added value or for very little revenue.

 

/05 This is the biggest difference between the 3 major upcoming eSports leagues and what European soccer teams are doing with their investment.

While the winners get a much larger prize pool, entry to the Madden 18 Championships and a slew of benefits, what happens with “NFL Club Winner” after this?

This program isn’t like being officially sponsored by a Paris St. Germain, which has many FIFA Athletes represent the club and provide the “3 M’s Of Why Pro Sports Teams Invest In eSports”™ - Marketing, Merchandising and Monetization.

 

Whichever NFL pro team does decide to become the innovator and begin emulating their European counterparts will start seeing the ROI with real investment in the eSports space much  more quickly than the next teams that will quickly follow suit.

eSports Week In Review | Telecom Brands, NBA In China, Head Of PSG eSports Podcast

ESPORTS WEEK IN REVIEW | TELECOM BRANDS, NBA IN CHINA, HEAD OF PSG ESPORTS PODCAST

eSports (Photo: Riot Games)

eSports (Photo: Riot Games)

TNL Take: Another big week in eSports with much more announcements expected as E3 begins next week and EA Play starting this weekend.

The biggest "news" this week was a comment made by NBA China CEO David Shoemaker about the huge eSports potential in the country. That comment was later said to be misquoted with NBA2K ELEAGUE Managing Director  Brendan Donohue saying

"We remain solely focused on the 2018 launch of our previously announced NBA 2K esports league"

Here's how I ended my thoughts on the potential:

NBA eSports In China from The Next Level 200 (Photo: The Next Level)

NBA eSports In China from The Next Level 200 (Photo: The Next Level)

One of favorite quotes: "There's He said, what She said and the actual truth"

Regardless, there is no way the NBA doesn't consider China and eSports in the next few years.

Here's what else happened:

 

MONDAY 06/05

TNL eSports Guest Podcast 005: Yellowstar, Head Of PSG eSports

TNL eSports Guest Podcast 005: Yellowstar, Head of PSG eSports (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL eSports Guest Podcast 005: Yellowstar, Head of PSG eSports (Photo: The Next Level)

 

TUESDAY 06/06

Telecom Brands Dial Into eSports

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 023: T-Mobile And Twitch E3 eSports Arena

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 023: T-Mobile and Twitch E3 Arena (Photo: Twitch)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 023: T-Mobile and Twitch E3 Arena (Photo: Twitch)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 024: Vodafone and G2 eSports (Photo: G2 eSports)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 024: Vodafone and G2 eSports (Photo: G2 eSports)

MOUSE.jpg
TNL eSports Podcast 022: SDSU Sports MBA (Photo: The Next Level)

TNL eSports Podcast 022: SDSU Sports MBA (Photo: The Next Level)

NBA + China + eSports = Super Smart (Photo: 2K Sports/Tencent)

NBA + China + eSports = Super Smart (Photo: 2K Sports/Tencent)

 

NEXT WEEK ON THE NEXT LEVEL
 

  • ESPORTS VS. SPORTS: TV VIEWER AGE
  • TNL ESPORTS GUEST PODCAST 005: CRAIG LEVINE, ESL US PRESIDENT
  • BEVERAGE BRAND DEALS: BUD LIGHT, MOUNTAIN DEW AND DR. PEPPER
  • E3 ESPORTS NEWS
  • AND MORE....

 

Have a great weekend!

TNL eSports Guest Podcast 005: Yellowstar, Head of PSG eSports

TNL ESPORTS GUEST PODCAST 005: YELLOWSTAR, HEAD OF PSG ESPORTS

Bora "Yellowstar" Kim, Head of Paris Saint-Germain eSports (Photo: PSG eSports)

Bora "Yellowstar" Kim, Head of Paris Saint-Germain eSports (Photo: PSG eSports)

TNL Take: In this edition of The Next Level eSports Guest Podcast, we speak with Bora "Yellowstar" Kim, former League of Legends player for Fnatic and Team SoloMid, who now manages eSports for top French soccer - sorry I'm a Yank - team Paris Saint-Germain.

We cover:

  • Yellowstar first playing video games when he was just 2 years old and first dipped into eSports with Starcraft at age 8.
  • His thoughts on Riot eventually moving towards a franchise model vs. the current league structure [Ed: This was recorded prior to Riot actually announcing the move to franchising]
  • Transitioning from being an eSports athlete to working on the business side of eSports
  • Why he chose Paris Saint-Germain 
  • The biggest challenge of building eSports at PSG and what’s been the easiest
  • PSG’s brands deals with ASUS Republic of Gamer’s and Microsoft
  • Why France has been one of the most active countries and teams involved with eSports and why other soccer teams haven't made the eSports investment
  • What other eSports titles is PSG looking to enter
  • The biggest one: Will Yellowstar return to League of Legends and both run and play for PSG eSports?

Hope you enjoy our conversation

TNL eSports Guest Podcast 005: Yellowstar, Head of PSG eSports (Photo: Yellowstar)

eSports Investment Continues To Roll

FRENCH MEDIA COMPANY BUYS ESWC

ESWC 2015 (Photo: ESWC)

TNL Take: At least we got Monday off.

After the slew of eSports investments over the past two weeks

the pace is not slowing down.

French company Webedia announced that they are acquiring Oxent, owner of both ESWC, Electronic Sports World Cup, and Toornament, an eSports tournament platform, as well as involvement with top Ligue 1 Team PSG.  Webedia has partnerships and JV's in Gaming with IGN, Gamestar and GamePro.

My High School French is pretty poor as well so let's translate what that means:

 

/01 ESWC

ESWC 2015 (Photo: ESWC)

ESWC is one of Europe's oldest eSports tournaments dating back to 2003 as well as the largest in France.

ESWC has also passed through a number of hands after being originally created by French company, Ligarena.  In 2009, ESWC was sold to Games-Solution, which was then bought by Oxent in 2012 and now owned by Webedia in 2016.

 

/02 TOORNAMENT

Toornament and MLG (Photo: Toornament)

Toornament is an eSports tournament platform similar to Faceit or Battlefy.

Toornament was one of the earliest platforms launching back in 2014. They've recently powered major tournaments from League of Legends to Events like MLG Columbus.

 

 /03 PSG FC

Ligue 1 Pro Team PSG FC

Now here is where it gets really interesting.

Between Webedia's Media properties, the value of both Events (ESWC) and Platform (Toornament) becomes obvious.

Now take this a step further.

Webedia also invested in Bang Bang Management, an eSports Athlete representation company which coincidentally represents.....EA FIFA Athletes.

 

I can't paint the picture more clearly.

 

 Combined with all of those assets, Webedia is now advising PSG FC on their eSports strategy.