Singapore-based esports talent management agency, EMERGE Esports, has launched an offline campaign prior to its official launch in Singapore. Through the campaign, the agency hoped to spark conversation and raise awareness on the true value of dreams and passion, which is often sidelined in the pursuit of what is seen as more practical endeavours.
Titled "EMERGE Against All Odds", the agency drew inspiration from the karung guni (or rag-and-bone) man and sent out ambassadors posed as "dream collectors" in both residential and commercial areas in Singapore. These "dream collectors" engaged passers-by and encouraged them to exchange their unused dreams or life goals for SG$2. The dreams that were written down were then immediately disposed of into a trash bag, to invoke a reaction from passers-by.
The campaign created a wave of reaction from the participants. While some were thrilled to be getting an extra buck, others were taken aback by their dreams being literally discarded. The campaign also drew bemused response from passers-by and eventually gained traction online.
According to EMERGE Esports, the campaign aimed to raise awareness on how people have discarded their dreams in the pursuit of a conventional career path and financial stability, often choosing to build someone else's dream rather than their own. The offline campaign was supported by thought-provoking signboards to actuate the key messaging.
Aside from street activations, EMERGE Esports is amplifying its launch campaign by hosting social media giveaways as well as gaining press coverage on both the organisation and its team onboard. In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a spokesperson from the agency said it has also embarked on influencer marketing through talents on board and is working closely with partnering brands to co-create content.
The spokesperson also said that the agency spent under SG$30,000 on its launch campaign, adding that as a start-up, it firmly believes that it is "not necessary to spend big dollars to get big results".
Pang Xue Jie, the chief gaming officer of EMERGE Esports, said: "The idea of the campaign was to highlight the nature of the younger generation settling in jobs for its source of income rather than pursuing what they are truly passionate about. Especially if it is in the less-conventional industries such as esports, which often garners negative sentiments from families and friends." Pang added that towards the end of each session, some participants expressed their determination to work on their "true callings" against all odds.
The offline campaign was held in line of EMERGE Esports' official launch. The agency boasts over 40 esports athletes and personalities under its stable, including popular DOTA 2 streamer Dominik (widely known as "Black^"), Singapore's top Cosplayer Xiaoyukiko, as well as 2019 SEA Games participant and former captain of EVOS SG’s Mobile Legends team, Robert “Oh Deer Bambi” Boon.
EMERGE Esports' brand launch was also marked with its official launch video. The one-and-half-minute video highlighted some stigma surrounding gamers, such as how they have no future, that esports is not considered a real sport, and even that playing games make gamers aggressive. The video then ends with a tie-back to EMERGE's campaign message, which is to encourage gamers to pursue their passion "against all odds".
In addition to the esports talents, EMERGE Esports also currently manages one of Singapore’s rising esports competitive team, Kingsmen, which competes in popular titles such as Mobile Legends Bang Bang, Valorant and PUBG Mobile. The agency aims to boost the growth of the esports ecosystem in Singapore by providing aspiring and existing esports talents with the tools and opportunity to succeed in the industry, with plans to expand its reach across the region.
Additionally, the agency has also tied up with over a dozen brands to support and nurture its growing stable of esports talents. These brands include Redbull, gaming peripherals maker SteelSeries, gaming chair manufacturer Royale Ergonomics, as well as non-gaming brands such as Embily, StashAway, Reubiks Academy and bubble tea brand Partea. With the partnerships, EMERGE said it will look to serve as an incubator hub, while providing a collaborative ecosystem that caters to the branding, marketing and general welfare needs of talents onboard.
EMERGE Esports recognises that competitive gaming and esports in the region has come a long way since its early days and have seen an unprecedented exposure of late due to the pandemic. Tapping on this, the agency strives to serve up-and-coming talents with a multi-layered support system that not only provides financial and marketing benefits, but also takes care of the teams’ overall welfare.
Pang said the agency would like to establish an ecosystem that nurtures all budding talents in the esports industry, and not just the esports athletes. He added that esports is now competing closely with traditional sports, garnering millions in revenue each year. Given its accessibility and rising popularity, Pang said it will not be surprised if esports surpasses traditional sports in revenue in the near future.
Pang also said that with gaming evolving beyond a hobby for many people, the launch of the agency has come at "an opportune time". "We are excited to be part of this journey which will pave the path for many youngsters and gaming enthusiasts to pursue a career in the esports industry," he added.
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