SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2016

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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August 2016 46 t SPORT Report Staples Center in Los Angeles in October. Those tournaments draw spectators as well as players. In 2015, 112 esports events generated an estimated $20.6 million in ticket revenues, which translates into real life dollars for host cities. For the Evo Championship in Las Vegas, 5,960 room nights were sold at the West- gate and another 1,720 at Mandalay Bay. "Keep in mind these are blocks for the event. Additional attendees may have stayed elsewhere," said Amanda Arentsen, communications manager for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Rachel Clarke of Rachel Clarke Events has worked with the Evo team as a planner for five years. "What amazes me is just the growth," Clarke said, pointing out it has quadrupled in attendance. "Six years ago, they had vol- unteers who did registration and everything else," Clarke said. "From there, it's just grown and grown." Evo moved from ballrooms to the con- vention center for the first time this year. "We had really good reports of people being able to find the convention center. It was easy to navigate your way around," Clarke said. "Also, the check-in process for that volume of people needs was smooth." Esports events also draw big numbers of television viewers, with 131 million total watching esports last year, according to the Global Esports Market Report. That's a lot of screens and ESPN is a major player. "We have been delivering gaming content for years now, and we are always exploring ways to best serve this audience for the long-term," said Angela Yang, senior publicist for ESPN Communications. ESPN covered the Street Fighter V tournament at Evo and the Madden NFL 16 Championship aired on ESPN2 in June. The list of esports events airing on ESPN networks is long and includes the Blizz- Con, International Dota 2 Championships, League of Legends, Heroes of the Dorm and others. "Since 2014, we have distributed over 300 hours of live esports content, some of which was digital only on ESPN3," Yang said. "We appreciate and understand the existing digital distribution of esports; the fan base is used to consuming this content digitally," she said. "TV provides added distribution and potential exposure to a more mainstream sports audience, and we will continue exploring that." Because of the level of interest and par- ticipation, esports coverage is treated like any other sports category, Yang said. ESPN already reaches a young male audience well, Yang said, and esports coverage allows the network to expand to an even younger audience. Just who are all those viewers? "Generally speaking, the esportsesports audience is younger and male," Yang said. Roughly one in four American males (and one in 10 American females) over the For the Michelin 24 Hour Forza Challenge live event, held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Ange- les, players logged onto Xbox at home to participate. Assembly Media ESPORTS Destination Needs: ► Wi-Fi has to be top-notch. It has to cover not only the main room but also any breakout rooms. ► Because these are social events, they needs to be affordable. People come from all over the world with their families so they need affordable accommoda- tions. The Evo Championship Series offered two tiers of hous- ing options. ► Easy access to the venue, such as free public transportation, is a must. In Las Vegas, the "monorail was used a lot." ► Flexible catering options are key. Participants want to have simple meals — burgers and fries — and food needs to be served at all hours as the games go late into the night. Source: Rachel Clarke Events, which assisted with planning for the Evolution Championship Series in Las Vegas

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