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Latest Opera Event News
Nov 16, 2020
How esports can save colleges – ClearTips x Brandon Burn is the CEO and co-founder of Opera Event, a technology platform that connects content creators, teams and sponsors programmatically and scale to each other. He was previously CFO of Team Liquid and VP of Finance and Administration at Curse. A few months ago, I wrote a piece about esports and the Olympics after sitting on a panel that, in consequence of the coronovirus epidemic, esports had the opportunity to work with the International Olympic Committee. After careful consideration and research, my conclusion was basically, “I think the Olympics need a whole lot more exports than the Olympics require.” I was surprised by some of the figures I uncovered during research on the Olympic piece, especially on the audience for international, professional and collegiate sports. I noticed that while the esports model is not as mature as traditional games, esports have actually reached the same level of viewership, and viewership was growing astronomically. I cannot help but wonder how long this incident will go on unknowingly by the institutions that may benefit the most from it. Enter colleges and universities flirt with admission: NCAA Division I currently has more than 170 collegiate edition gaming programs, and the number of clubs is even higher. So even when entities invest in exports, there are still many misconceptions and unseen aspects of the ability to drive value (and even revenue) into the collegiate space. 21st century college Today’s college experience is very different than it was 50 years ago. The pace of change outside institutions is ever faster, often leaving colleges struggling to keep up. Changes in technology, student interests, emerging economies and workplaces, and cultural norms have left colleges and universities in place of less relevance than many points in the past. The same can be said about college sports: outside forces have eroded collegium pride, cultural power, recruitment, alumni engagement and in some cases a once-near-hegemonic source of revenue. I quickly reviewed the audience for the world’s largest NCAA events; Football Bowl Subdivision Bowl Championship and NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. Image Credit: Brandon Burn Image Credit: Brandon Burn See the average viewership of the Big Bowl games before the championship system took effect in 2015, even after that. Above, you see the audience trend line as well as an average for various large bowl audiences. While there are definitely occasional spikes, the best case you can make here is that the product is flat – when you separate the trend line for both, here’s the result: Image Credit: Brandon Burn Overall, the trend seems mostly downward. Look at the same trend in viewership for the NCAA Final Four – early semifinals, late semifinals and finally the championship game. Image Credit: Brandon Burn They look rather similar. Therefore, while collegiate sports still have a large following, here two issues are concerned. First, the audience is not growing at all; In fact, it appears to be slightly shrunken. Secondly, the audience is aging, making collegiate sports relevant for younger people. Although an older audience is still a valuable source of alumni donations and ancillary revenue, it does not align with another core target demographic: prospective college students. Now despite this, there are statistics that suggest that schools with elite academic departments enjoy an event known as Doug Flutie, a quarterback for Boston Flory, a quarterback for Boston College, with exciting performances on the gridiron Was credited with promoting BC applications. An article in Forbes breaking down an HBS study goes more deeply into this phenomenon than we can see here. Granted, a lot of the data is from a few years ago, when college sports were probably more relevant, but the point is broadly the same: having elite programs in an activity benefits students from the institutions that sponsor them. Are and promote them. But what happens when the enthusiasm for those activities is wandering among the student body? One idea is to find out the participation in what subjects today’s students are interested in. Riot’s mid-season invite schedule for the League of Legends, compared to FBS Football (maxing out at 35 million viewers) and the NCAA Final Four (maxing out at 28 million) There was a total audience of 60 million people. In second place is the Intel Extreme Masters tournament in Katowice with 46 million people. Although accurate demographic data is not readily available, it is for this reason that the latter two events are less skewed than the former two. Some Caviates, because they’re not as good compared to apples-to-apples: These esports events break up over several days and match a significant number – similar to March Madness, perhaps – and content in different ways Is consumed. Most of the NCAA content has been presented on television, with some of the payment being on premium channels. Esports events are broadcast via Twitch and YouTube via the stream for free. But the thing to understand is that export audiences are growing at a 15% -16% year-on-year clip and it commands audiences around the world, meaning its Total Address Market (TAM) is huge. NCAA events are unlikely to attract serious audiences outside of North America. COVID-19 In the context of the epidemic, colleges have an inability to engage students in the college experience, which is one of the primary reasons students attend college. Networking, developing new friends and gaining new experiences are all part of the collegiate draw, none of which is done from the living rooms of students’ parents. Similarly, collegiate games as we know them have essentially ceased to exist, together with their functions of institutional pride, marketing and revenue. The NCAA tournament was canceled in March of 2020 and there is no indication that it, or any other game, will return any time soon. On the other hand, Esports are thriving in this context, mostly thanks to remote competition and their ability to see. Esports can isolate tournament spectators, teams, and even referees to allow for safe content creation and consumption. Esports and colleges Believe it or not, esports is a better fit for college than it is for professionals. I won’t go into all the details here, but I actually wrote a separate article on why the pro sports model is not good for esports. In this article we talk about intellectual property, which is the owner of the league in exports and how all institutions make money. The biggest problem is, in pro sports, teams own the league and can then act in the interest of all teams. In esports, the league is usually owned or regulated by the publisher of the video game, meaning that you have a hand in the monetization pie in a way that is not in pro sports. The interesting thing about this is that college athletics actually has the same problem and has found a way to mitigate it. Athletes receive their scholarships, and schools, their athletic conferences, and the NCAA itself have a piece of the pie that gets packed and sold for distribution to ESPN and Fox Sports of the world. It is a better model for esports. It is unlikely that any group that “owned” football IPs would tell the Dallas Cowboys how to market their team, what their deductions were and how it would be distributed. This process happens all the time in college, however. In fact, to get everyone to have their seat at the table, you have to work for it all so that the school makes some money (equal to a team), the conference makes its money (equal to the league) and the NCAA makes their money (from the publisher itself Equals) makes. If the chain breaks at any point, the whole process stops and no one makes money. I mention this in my article about the Olympics. The IOC is used to have full autonomy over the broadcast of the Olympic Games, which events are part of the Games, who is eligible and who is not, etc. There is no chance that this will be the case if the Olympics are attended. . The publisher can fully influence how the game is portrayed, broadcasted, judged. IOC is not used on it. In college, it is just a normal Saturday afternoon. COVID-19 has not resulted in college admission nor down. Even before the epidemic, colleges were trying to find their feet with potential students as people reevaluate the college experience. Forbes wrote back in 2019 that there were two million students in college enrollment in that decade. Add to the preliminary data that we are getting from the impact of COVID on colleges, we can see enrollment down anywhere from 5% -20% by 2020. Image Credit: Brandon Burn the vision For colleges, this is not very good. Revenue is also low with cash such as Harvard University etching. With enrollment before the epidemic, we have reached a point where colleges and universities have to adapt to survive. The good news is, I believe esports may be an opportunity to do just that. Colleges are migrating, escorts for 115 different programs and scholarship offers for club programs are increasing rapidly. Sure, it will help to attract students, but monetization in esports is really difficult. It is important that colleges and universities receive expert advice to create an ecosystem that ultimately compensates all stakeholders, including the college. This would require universities to move quickly and put on board with a model that is still being built in real time. The coronavirus epidemic is not going away any time soon, but I think there will be many colleges. Now it’s time to move. Share this:
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Opera Event Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was Opera Event founded?
Opera Event was founded in 2015.
Where is Opera Event's headquarters?
Opera Event's headquarters is located at 7100 Stevenson Blvd., Fremont.
What is Opera Event's latest funding round?
Opera Event's latest funding round is Loan.
How much did Opera Event raise?
Opera Event raised a total of $5.25M.
Who are the investors of Opera Event?
Investors of Opera Event include Paycheck Protection Program, Atlas Ventures, Konvoy Ventures, Antera and Everblue Management.
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