Esports is an industry dominated by male voices, but that may be changing.
A communications consultancy dedicated exclusively to the esports market is launching today. The Story Mob, co-founded by Nicola Piggott (former lead of esports communications at Riot Games), Anna Rozwandowicz (former VP of Communications at ESL), and Kalie Moore (former head of communications at BITKRAFT Esports Ventures), have a combined 12 years in shaping how the world views esports.
The aforementioned BITKRAFT Esports Ventures is also investing in the new operation.
With an diverse client list at launch, including global esports teams Team Liquid and Fnatic, energy drink Red Bull, and VC firm, BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, DOJO Madness and streaming service Split Media Labs, The Story Mob is hoping to provide counsel to both endemic esports brands and those looking to enter the space. And what stands out the most is that there are 3 females in charge in an industry that is known to be dominated by males.
I spoke with the founders to get some insight as to why they left their former jobs to get involved in this exciting startup.
Why is a communications consultancy needed in the esports industry?
Nicola: Clear and consistent communications strategies have typically been an afterthought for the esports industry. We believe that esports fans are the most valuable fan community in the world, but that reaching them with authentic and credible communications is almost impossible without a first hand knowledge of their hopes, concerns and passions. That's where we can help.
In today's PR/comms landscape, there's a gap in the market for a firm that relates directly to esports fans and dedicates all their resources to helping brands speak to them successfully. With over a decade's experience working with the largest esports communities in the world, we believe that we can be part of designing a future where brands and companies can offer them more value and, in turn, understand them better.
What do you think esports needs to improve when it comes to communications?
Anna: Newer brands entering the space need to commit to more than slapping a logo on a lower third or retweeting winner congratulations - they need to talk to the fans with humor and humility, and offer value.
For teams and competitive brands within the esports space, there are different challenges. We work with clients on making communications timely, transparent and authentic. In a fast moving industry, bumps will happen along the road, but fans need to trust your values and intentions through it all.
Why did you raise money?
Kalie: I've been involved in the startup scene/venture capital world for six years, and I'm aware of the stats. Only 2.2% of VC funding went to female founding teams in 2017, which is an insanely low stake. We knew that a communications consultancy isn't a traditional VC business, but at the same time, we are aware of the value of having the right strategic partners in your corner.
Jens Hilgers, the Managing Partner at BITKRAFT Esports Ventures, was my introduction to esports. After an initial meeting to discuss BITKRAFT's communication strategy, he invited me to attend IEM Katowice. On the drive from Berlin to Poland he shared the entire history of esports, and after spending two days at the event, I was hooked. I'm incredibly grateful to Jens for his introduction to esports, and also for giving me a seat at the table when it came to meeting other executives in the space. We are also proud to be BITKRAFT's first investment in an all female founding team.