eSports as a Secret Weapon in the Fight for Talent

  • EASY SOFTWARE is involved in eSport to address a young, hard-to-reach target group
  • Gamers are technically adept on average and have soft skills that are in demand in the industry.
  • eSports sponsoring is a promising business with a high return on investment

Since July 2019, EASY SOFTWARE AG has been the official technology partner of the eSports team of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Four professional players are part of this team and compete in the national and international FIFA football simulation competitions.

In recent years, eSports has evolved from being a niche phenomenon into a magnet with widespread popularity, and is continuously opening up new target groups.

eSports: a growing market

In the world of eSport, professional athletes compete against each other in digital games. What may sound like relaxed evenings in front of the computer or console actually requires a huge amount of skill. The competition is fierce; only those who have the necessary cognitive and motor capacities have a chance. The competitions are so exciting that more than 450 million people now follow eSports worldwide. In addition to established big players, the FIFA series is becoming increasingly relevant in this context.

Digital football simulation is a rising star in the heady world of German eSports, and is getting closer and closer to the long-time favorites among the general public of CS:GO, League of Legends and Dota 2. In 2012, the DFB established the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL) in cooperation with the game manufacturer EA Sports. Although eSports have not yet reached the relevance of the traditional football Bundesliga, they are getting nearer to the biggest leagues in Germany in basketball, ice hockey or handball.

In this respect, Germany is one of the few active countries in which eSports have not yet been officially recognized as a sport. Change is on the doorstep here as well, however: the coalition agreement of the current German government states that eSports should have the same advantages as other sports in the future. This step would significantly build on the role played by Germany in the growing international eSports business. The popularity and relevance of the digital competition have therefore by no means reached their peak.

Talented young people with promising soft skills

In the area of both sports and the IT industry, gamers are in more demand than ever before. Quick thinking, stress resistance, team spirit and a high degree of tech affinity are frequent attributes of the target group, which tends to be young and educated. EASY SOFTWARE has also recognized this potential and is therefore investing in the future market of eSports.

The goal of EASY SOFTWARE is to bring the traditional recruitment process into the modern era over the long term. In an employee’s labor market, many companies are feeling the competitive pressure in the fight for talent. Closing in on attractive target groups with talented young people is therefore an integral part of the modern world of recruitment. It is important to attract promising junior staff wherever they may be located. Partaking in eSports is one way of showing young target groups how EASY SOFTWARE operates at the cutting edge of the latest trends.

In the eSports business, the sponsors enjoy much higher levels of popularity than they do in many other industries. This is to a particular extent due to the close connection between viewers and players, which the network enables with platforms such as the streaming service Twitch.
This effective approach to potential applicants is an opportunity, which EASY is taking, to be one step ahead of its competitors in the “war for talents”.

Due to the low entry barriers to this sponsorship market, whose potential has only been discovered by comparatively few companies so far, the return on the sponsorship often exceeds the investment many times over. In this respect, being an endemic sponsor with direct links to the eSports and games industry isn’t necessary. Leading companies such as Coca-Cola or Audi prove how successful eSports sponsorship can be. It’s a goldmine for effective brand communication.

Attention is becoming a rare commodity

A compelling indicator of the increasing relevance of eSports as an additional communication channel is our sponsoring partner Borussia Mönchengladbach itself. In his speech at EASY WORLD 2019, Andreas Cüppers, Head of Borussia Digital, explained why the long-standing football club is joining eSports.

Due to the wide range of entertainment offered by today’s media landscape, classic football is becoming increasingly unattractive for a younger target group. Where football was king back then, it today competes with Netflix, Youtube and comparable offers. The average stadium visitor is getting older – a sustainable target group is no longer a self-propelled phenomenon. At the same time, eSports events such as ESL One in Cologne effortlessly fill halls with more than 15,000 spectators – in addition to the worldwide audience in the Twitch stream.

With up to two million copies sold per year, FIFA is Germany’s most popular video game series. For a young target group of up to 35 years of age, the football simulation is also an integral part of everyday pop culture outside the world of eSports. Today, the importance of skill at the console is roughly equivalent to the importance that was attributed to success on the local football pitch in the old days.

That’s why FIFA eSport is an attractive new communication channel for EASY SOFTWARE, opening the door to a new target group. Ultimately, the fight for talent is above all a fight for attention – with opponents who are constantly becoming more numerous and powerful. Through its commitment to eSports, EASY will be an important step ahead of its direct competitors.

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