For many top esports organizations, the competitive gaming side of the industry is only a small component of the larger business. FaZe Clan, 100 Thieves, NRG Esports, and many others have transformed themselves into “lifestyle brands” that emphasize not just gaming, but also the intersection between games, music, sports, and fashion. This has led to wider merchandising and partnership opportunities across industries with a variety of celebrities that tap into youth culture. Through this lens, producing content that is both organic and engaging is critical to maintaining and growing an audience. That’s exactly what Team Liquid is aiming to do with the help of three new executive hires: Blair Herter, Josie Brown, and Jennifer Gares.
Herter joins Team Liquid as the new Managing Director following time spent as gaming network G4’s Senior Vice President of Brand. Brown brings streaming experience to Team Liquid as the former Head of Brand and Culture Lab Marketing at Hulu; she will now act as Team Liquid’s Senior Vice President of Brand, Marketing and Content. Gares will help the org find new content creator talent as the Senior Director of Talent. She has previously worked for talent agency Loaded as well as Red bull, Kingston HyperX, Cloud9 and Forge.
In its announcement, Team Liquid made it clear that the hires reinforce the organization’s commitment to “wider content and fandom goals.” Steve Arhancet, Co-CEO and Owner of Team Liquid, remarked that the appointments “serve to reaffirm our belief in the organization’s vision, our core values and our unique ability to elevate beyond esports and competition.”
Team Liquid’s current content strategy has already helped the organization secure major non-endemic sponsorships from companies like Verizon, Honda, and SAP, to name a few. With Gares, Herter, and Brown leveraging their experience and connections in streaming and network television, Team Liquid is in a great position to add some attractive content creators to its roster.
According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, many esports and game-related video viewers in the US would like to see more game streamers coming from the worlds of sports, TV/film, and music. 22% of viewers completely agree that they have interest in pro athletes livestreaming games, closely followed by interest in watching music artists and TV/movie actors livestreaming. Music and sports have already been widely integrated by various esports orgs, and it’s likely that these are two areas that Team Liquid will focus on as well.