“Like all entrepreneurs in early 2020, I wasn’t sure how the year would turn out when the pandemic hit. A component of our business is made up of offline live audience events,” said Carlos Alimurung, CEO of ‘ONE Sports.
The general manager of the sporting events company shared his sincere statements with Vulcan Post as we caught up after two years of launching the startup, a business that has been formed in a joint venture between ONE Championship and Dentsu.
“However, our strategy of offering a more complete solution that included not only events, but also content, social and data, allowed us to adapt quickly to the situation, gain great partnerships and move forward in our business and our market position. “Carlos said.
3.5 million followers in just two years
Carlos has some rights to brag about the company’s growth so far, having survived the pandemic despite being part of the events industry.
In addition, in just two years of operations, the firm has reached 3.5 million followers on its social media channels.
In 2019, the brand was officially launched by sports organizer ONE Championship and advertising firm Dentsu. At the time, the plan was to start the year with events held across Asia, with several highly successful gaming titles.
Carles, promoted as an experienced media and sports veteran, he was asked to launch and lead the brand in 2019. He was the former commercial director of the online tournament platform Battlefy.
But the pandemic threw a key into the works, with the limits of Covid-19’s safe management fueling the idea of holding events with live audiences and ticket sales.
Despite the reversal of the original plan, ONE Sports has been taking advantage of various methods to expand its reach and online presence, helping it to achieve a strong foothold in the Asian sports scene. This despite the pandemic and being a newcomer.
Not just a sports event organizer
For the past two years, ONE Sports has been working with influencers, owning and managing a sports news site and producing its own streaming content.
“It’s one of the few companies in the industry that can help brands get involved and connect with the sports community through various fan contact points,” Carlos said.
“Our social networks have climbed massively with close to 300 million monthly impressions. We organize some of the most important sporting events in the world, and we have and manage oneesports.gg, which is one of the sports news sites biggest in the world, ”Carlos said.
“We have our own studio that produces long, short and streaming content and we also work with a wide range of sports teams and influencers,” he added.
The company distributes its content widely to all major streaming platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and TikTok. “The distribution of viewers not only varies between different countries due to local consumption preferences, but also differs between game titles,” Carlos explained.
In addition to all this, the startup manages an internal data and analysis team that publishes proprietary sports reports. The reports cover a wide range: from the OTT scene to fans of women’s sports and fans of Chinese sports.
There is a team of 40 employees across the region supporting this great effort. Carlos added that ONE Sports is always looking for talented people to join its fast-growing team.
This proves to be true, as a check on his LinkedIn work page proved that it is currently lurking for business development analysts and product managers.
Your game events generate millions of views
According to Carlos, ONE Sports hosts some of the most important sporting events in the world and attracts millions of spectators worldwide.
For example, the firm started its launch with the ONE Sports Dota 2 World Pro Invitational Singapore with a prize of US $ 500,000 in December 2019. The event generated 88 million views.
Subsequently, ONE Sports held its MPL Invitational with a US $ 100,000 prize that garnered 65 million total views.
Its latest ONE Sports Dota 2 Singapore Major, held earlier this year with a prize pool of US $ 500,000, generated 274 million total views. “It had 1.1 million maximum simultaneous views, making it the second most-watched Dota 2 Major in history.”
“Although the situation today is better than a year ago, the impact of the pandemic is still unpredictable and is likely to create an intermittent situation in the next 12 to 18 months. The companies that will be successful in this environment will be those with a solid business model that offers itself and its partners an option, ”said Carlos.
Holistic approach, long term relationship with fans
What sets ONE Sports apart from other sports organizations is “our commitment to our mission to share and celebrate the stories of sports heroes that ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams and inspiration,” Carlos said.
The goal is to build a genuine long-term relationship with fans, help brands connect and relate to the sports community in an authentic way.
“The most successful brands that have been involved in sports have taken a holistic approach and have been activated through multiple channels, experiences and content. When fans relate to a brand consistently across multiple activations and platforms , becomes a long – term opportunity to create genuine awareness and relationships, “he added.
Another reason why the brand is strongly in the industry is that it is involved with all the major gaming titles in the region and the world.
“These games are global in nature or have the potential to be global and whose player base is on a scale that justifies the resources we allocate to serve their fans,” Carlos shared.
ONE Sports has hosted tournament events for major game titles such as Dota 2 and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
“We recently announced that we have partnered once again with Moonton to host this year’s MLBB Professional League Invitational (MPLI) in the last quarter of 2021, which will feature some of the best teams in Southeast Asia,” he said.
ONE Sports is also the official media partner of the Arena of Valor International Championship 2021, Free Fire Indonesia Masters 2021 and UniPin Ladies Series MLBB 2021 in Indonesia.
Growth potential of Southeast Asia
There is huge market potential for sports in Southeast Asia, Carlos said.
“Our research indicates that there are 225 million gaming and sports enthusiasts in the region. The continued growth and penetration of mobile gaming in both developed and developing markets is undoubtedly driving the rise of sports mobile phones “.
Mobile games will also heat up in the short term.
The company data shows that today nearly 60 percent of players in North America and Europe and 87 percent of Southeast Asia regularly play mobile games, he said.
“The market will only be more competitive as more triple-A game developers enter the mobile gaming market.”
Boom of female players, young audience
Interestingly, one of the fastest growing segments over the past two years is women in games and sports, she said. Today, female fans account for half of the gaming and sports market in Southeast Asia (51 percent men versus 49 percent women).
“The widespread adoption of mobile phones and the rise of new players in the video streaming market have allowed for easier access to game content, especially within the female community,” Carlos explained.
“Our research finds that 87% of fans prefer mobile games. We also found that Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and PUBG Mobile are the best game titles played and seen among Southeast Asian fans. there is more room for this segment of the community to grow “.
Another area of growth: a young generation of sports fans. “The average age of sports fans is much younger than the average age of traditional stick and ball sports fans. The sports audience is made up mostly of Generation Z and millennials,” Carlos said.
“Dominated by a young, digital and global audience, sports are certainly shaping up as the future of sports, media and entertainment,” he added.
But when he commented on the insanity of chips (NFT) that took the sports industry by storm, with many companies proposing collections of NFT players, for example, the CEO offered a different reaction.
When asked if ONE Sports is involved in any NFT projects, Carlos replied directly, “No, we’re not.”
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Featured Image Credit: ONE Sports, ONE Championship