GEF forms dedicated commission to increase global commercial focus
The Global Esports Federation, the newly-formed governing body for the sport, has today announced the formation of a brand, marketing, commercial and communication commission as part of its “international commercial focus.”
The body said the commission was designed to “create opportunities within the community and propel esports to the forefront of global events and entertainment.”
It will be led by Lorenzo Giorgetti, the chief commercial officer of Italian soccer giants AC Milan, and a GEF board member.
The GEF said Giorgetti will bring “discipline and experience to the commission’s detailed and vital work.”
Giorgetti said: “I look forward to engaging with the world’s commercial brands – established and those emerging – and the market at large to bring tremendous value to the GEF and our worldwide properties.”
The commission will drive key priorities in elevating esports globally – to convene an evolving industry, cultivate commercial opportunities and build revenues by driving strategic brand initiatives and partnerships, the federation said.
Chris Chan, president of GEF, added: “Esports has emerged into the mainstream in recent years, evolving to hit the mainstage of entertainment globally. The whole of the Global Esports Federation and the global esports community are optimistic about its continued growth and expansion.”
In April, the GEF appointed former International Olympic Committee official Paul Foster as chief operating officer.
Foster recently told Sportcal the federation is looking to use the increased popularity of events amid the coronavirus pandemic to appeal to potential partners and sponsors.
The body recently signed a strategic partnership with the Commonwealth Games Federation, with the aim of using that alliance to further esports’ position in 54 countries.
The GEF was formed in December with the backing of Chinese internet giant Tencent and claims to be the sport’s first worldwide governing body, despite the existence of the International Esports Federation.
Meanwhile, Blast, the Denmark-based esports organisation, today agreed a deal with Douyu, the Chinese live-streaming service, to broadcast its Premier 2020 Counter Strike tournament.
Under the deal, Douyu will receive exclusive streaming rights in the Manadarin language for China.
The company launched Blast Premier, the new league based on the Counter Strike: Global Offensive game, earlier this year.
Douyu, which claims to have had 163.6 million monthly active users in 2019, will broadcast over 300 hours and over 150 matches across the year.
Alexander Lewin, vice-president of distribution and programming, said: “Our partnership with Douyu is further testament to the rapidly growing popularity of Blast Premier in China. The Chinese market continues to play an integral role in the global esports world.”
During the global pandemic, Blast has increased its output and developed multiple tournaments, content series and commercial partnerships, including a sponsorship deal last week with Betway, the international online betting operator, for its competitions.
The company also recently announced it raised $13.5 million in its latest financing round, which was led by Rocket Software co-founder Johan Gedda, Danish investment fund Vaekstfonden and venture capital firms Creandum, Heartcore and Maki.