Esports is one of the fastest growing professional sports in the world. In January 2018, after the launch of the first city-based professional esports league the month prior, D+P planned and executed the introduction of Philadelphia’s new team, the Fusion. The category had a few skeptics – sports journalists, parents and traditional sports fans – so we knew that reaching potential fans and followers was not going to happen through traditional communications channels. Instead, non-traditional channels like esports influencers, online streaming channels and subreddits would be key.
To raise awareness and to invite Fusion followers to the inaugural watch party, D+P used a combination of targeted influencers and digital platforms to reach fans. Also, knowing that college students are some of the most enthusiastic esports fans, we located the watch party in the heart of University City, Philadelphia. We also offered fans not just the opportunity to watch the first-ever Fusion competition, but also to experience it with an Overwatch gaming zone, cosplayers, giveaways and on-site entertainment.
Fans lined up around the block with great anticipation for the watch party – more than the venue could host at one time. D+P scored numerous business stories talking about the team, the growth of esports and the future opportunity for team owner, Comcast Spectacor, to build on its success. In subsequent seasons, we continued to promote the team with high-octane watch parties and the September 2019 groundbreaking for the Fusion’s new esports arena.