JMC Assignment 4
As esport marches forward and continues to take the world by storm, there is a steady workforce of professionals who commit their time and effort to keeping the industry running. Among them are a selection of media professionals who draw on a selection of Journalistic, Media and Communicative concepts and ideas in order to structure and build their career within the space. This piece will outline how the use of personal branding is an essential pillar to beginning within the industry in addition to setting up the most optimal path for an individual to succeed. Explore how contribution within the public sphere and an explicit understanding of its workings are relevant to understand the audience in the current moment and establish communication with others, whether on a B2C or B2B level. Furthermore, how globalisation is the key to projecting into the future and understanding and influencing the largest and most diverse audience possible. In doing so encapsulating, the most integral components of being a media professional in the electronic games and esport landscape.
Considering the age of the industry, the long-term practical experience is finite and particularly in Australia is considerably lacking. As a means to combat this, strong personal branding that is indicative and accurate in representing the individual is paramount. The personal brand in this sense is the opportunity for a media professional but also a display of themselves and a point of reference for other professionals, for the business or public to examine. “Your brand is your reputation” [PWC, 2018]. Similar to how a customer will be drawn to an appealing product if it is marketed properly; media professionals can utilise their own unique personal branding to invoke similar positive reception from employers and set themselves apart or above others in a similar position. Gary Vaynerchuk (2016) explains that the authenticity of how you brand is critical. “[Branding] comes in handy, because it is infectious and translates into immediate interest from your audience”. Whereas an extension of your branding comes various values, “Think of them as your personal compass… A good way to figure out what makes you tick”(PWC, 2018) comes as a relevant tool for survival within esport. With such a volatile setting in terms of money and job security, for the time being, a healthy attitude to work, a desire to give to the community, a mindset focused on optimism; these encapsulate a handful of many ideal values for an individual to take up and uphold.
Additionally, the skill of building and working on your personal brand is seen within a community or industry which will directly impact you in your place within the public sphere. But finally, it also gives you the opportunity to partake in the industry and without adequate personal branding of yourself, it will be unreasonable to justify your place in such an industry. At the end of the day branding is about the attention of the consumer and possible employers, therefore it is necessary to be as tasteful, useful and as real as you can be in order to establish yourself.
Alluded to earlier was how the public sphere will play a role in the time any media professional wishes to be a part of the esports industry. Being free of social prejudice and distinction and acting as a grounds to exchange ideas and have discussions (Sternberg, 2018), the public sphere serves the community but is represented by the community also, particularly in esport. Currently esport, particularly in Australia operates heavily based on its large community of people who contribute to the space through the public sphere. It applies in two ways to the media professional, each being very important. Initially, the public sphere is an excellent ground to learn about all there is to know without having to leave the space, fortunately due to the size of the Australian industry this is still possible, however it also operates as a mirror for media professionals to see how their work and their brand has been received within the community. The integration at this stage and being engaged with this group is important because they are the entire audience. The importance of making a lasting and positive impression is highlight by Leaning (2009) “Participants in online deliberative environments tend to stick within their community of interest” in which the idea that because these people represent the community and livelihood of the industry, similar to personal branding; ensuring as a media professional that you’re in touch with the wider community who in part govern and dictate your success is vital. How this is done in terms of what is required of the individual comes down to people skills and basic business. You must listen to what people want, and then cater to them, but in esport, this looks like content, videos, podcasts, compilations, live streaming and opportunities to win prizes, which is possible through the use of the public sphere as the communications channel.
A unique aspect of the public sphere in esport is how diverse and engaged the audience is. A component of this is due to globalisation which will be discussed in the following section. However how this inclusive environment benefits interaction in the public sphere is in the types of content available and approaches to media on offer. With such a wide array of people, backgrounds, etc. the ceiling of opportunity for media endeavour is also very high, unlike some other narrow focused industries. Being able to take advantage of this is a skill that a well rounded and switched on media professional can do.
Globalisation has enabled esport to flourish in the unique way it has though the “increased transmission of media content across global boundaries” (Sternberg, 2018). This comes as no surprise considering the digital nature of esport, elaborated on by Unikrn (2015); stating that, “Unlike “traditional” sports, esports aren’t confined to brick and mortar stadiums or ballparks. They simply don’t need the vast infrastructure requirements of baseball, hockey or football, nor do they require the enormous budgets that go along with team ownership and league development.” Considering the nature of video games also and the inherent inclusiveness of them, unlike more traditional sports which also comes as no surprise. This, of course, translates into all aspects of working in the industry, particularly in media. Living in Australia is no limitation for you as the content you can produce is accessible to a global market as are the resources you have to make said content. “What further separates esports from traditional sports is the fact that fans and esports stars are a part of the exact same community. “ (Unikrn, 2015). This level playing field is grounding but allows for the opportunity to reach and connect with an audience in a unique way that no other sports media can achieve, as such with all things esport. The globalisation factor has yielded much growth with the industry expected to reach a 1.65B USD market revenue in 2020 which is a 40% rate of growth per year (Statista, 2018), much of this coming as a response from sponsorship and advertising. Therefore, marketability in terms of strong media presence in conjunction being a brand that consumers relate with and can support all play a role in being able to secure financial success in the long term.
Globalisation is critical to the media professional as it enables the wide audiences, arrays of possible content, but most importantly gives this industry its unique niche over traditional sport and additional marketability and appeal to audiences and businesses alike. Media professionals should seize all the attention and work they can considering the global scale of such an industry.
Overall there is a clear opportunity for media professionals in esports in the present and projecting into the future. This was outlined by highlighting the necessity of ensuring a sound personal brand to enter the scene strong and become competitive for businesses to hire. Furthermore conveyed through the importance and relevance of the public sphere, the need to communicate and establish meaning channels with an audience is critical but also supported by globalisation which in turn improves the possible audience and potential for sponsorship, awareness and audience reach as it is simply an inclusive and globally available endeavour. In summary, the means to excel in esport as a media professional is very clear and achievable but have nuances that this piece outlines in order to inform and convey why media and esport are an excellent combination seen to work thus far and projecting into the future.
Dollars, e. (2018). Global eSports market revenue 2021 | Statistic. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/490522/global-esports-market-revenue/
Leaning, M. (2009). nternet, Power and Society : Rethinking the Power of the Internet to Change Lives (p. 78). Witney: Chandos Publishing (Oxford) Ltd.
Personal Brand Workbook. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.pwc.com/us/en/careers/campus/assets/img/programs/personal-brand-workbook.pdf
Sternberg, J. (2018). KJB102 Introduction to Journalism, Media and Communication. Week 5, Media convergence and Globalisation [lecture recording]. Retrieved from https://blackboard.qut.edu.au
The Globalization of eSports — Unikrn News. (2018). Retrieved from https://news.unikrn.com/article/the-globalization-of-esports
Vaynerchuk, G. (2018). Gary Vaynerchuk — Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@garyvee