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Interview

Immortals COO on building their OW brand and team values

Oct 25, 2017
Ari Segal, COO of Immortals, shares the organization’s goals on building their new Overwatch brand.

Q: With Overwatch you basically have to build two brands. How are you going to help build the Overwatch brand and funnel people into the Immortal's brand as well?

OK. So this is a really important question and something we're spending a lot of time thinking about.

The Immortals brand is something -- and one of the things that attracted me to Immortals -- is more than just an emblem and a logo and a bunch of colors and some hashtags. It's about accessibility, transparency, and accountability and striving to provide the best and most authentic and most connected fan experience not only in esports but in all sports and entertainment. That's what we're striving for.

Just because Overwatch League might have different colors and a different name, those are still going to be really what the brand is all about. That is the brand. That is why there has been this amazing relationship and give and take develop between Noah and our fans over -- primarily Noah but of course our whole team, but him kind of as the personification of that -- and our fans over two years. So absolutely without any doubt the experience that we're trying to deliver in Overwatch League will be consistent with the experience we've tried to deliver under the Immortals umbrella.

The difference, I think the primary difference is that we'll be able to touch our fans directly in a physical way more frequently and regularly and that tangible aspect of the connection will just be more embedded than it is for other brands by virtue of the nature of competition and our local market and the fact that we're based here in L.A. and our Overwatch team is in L.A. and only two Overwatch teams can be in L.A. I just think it lends itself to that kind of that kind of tradeoff. Or I guess allocation of kind of experience mindshare, however you want to put it.

So on one level the core of what we're trying to do is pretty consistent and the colors and logos are kind of window dressing on top of that. At the same time, I think that again we need to think about this as trying to figure out ways to lift all boats as opposed to kind of zero sum.

Let me say it differently - I'd be naive to think that every Immortals fan will be a fan of our Overwatch League team and that every person who lives in L.A. who's interested in Overwatch League and and our team in that will be equally interested in all of Immortals' other teams. I just don't think that's realistic.

And, by the way, in Philadelphia, you know where you're from, not every Eagles fan is a Flyers fan. Thank god, by the way. That would be just a little much for everybody I think.

But you know I think what we can do is create a compelling fan experience and we can create a compelling fan experience on multiple platforms that involves both in person and more digital connectivity and interaction. And we want to invite everybody to join us and we will work tirelessly to try to get our message out so that people know that we are here for those who want to join and be a part of it.

And, by the way, we have Immortals fans right now that are all over the world. If there is an Immortals fan in Shanghai or there is an Immortals fan in Boston or New York, it might make more sense for that person to be a fan of the Overwatch League team in that market because they'll get a chance to go and see that team and be part of that kind of season ticket core fan live experience that might appeal to them and we as partners in Overwatch League will benefit if fans across the world are having the best possible experience that they can have.

So again if a fan in Philadelphia says I root for Immortals in League of Legends. I root for Immortals in Counter-Strike, but I'm rooting for the Philadelphia team in Overwatch, we'll grow through that. And I think there's plenty of room in the world for there to be success across all dimensions and certainly in Overwatch League, really creating a compelling local experience and having that sense of local fan base where you grow up rooting for a team not because you chose them but because you were kind of born into it, to augment the folks that are seeking us out because of our brand values. That's going to be a great combination. I think a huge source of strength for us.

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