VaynerSports' Darren Glover Speaks on Esports Orgs vs. Creators

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G Tucker / ONE37pm

It seems like every other day, updates regarding the continued growth and talent acquisitions & departures related to esports organizations hit the timeline. And as someone that follows the scene deeply, there's so much to keep up with on the branding front whenever esports organizations enter partnership deals with prominent entities. Darren Glover, who's aligned with VaynerSports as the sports athlete managing company as VP, is always keeping tabs on the world of esports and the aforementioned changes that take place within it. After having my curiosity sparked by one of his tweets, I reached out to Glover to have a chat about his thoughts on the topics of "esports orgs vs. creators" and so much more.

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Darren Glover: Esports orgs are selling brands and properties with the value of the talent on their roster.

ONE37pm: Let's talk about it. So when you tweet that, what are you basically saying?

Glover: It's the current environment of the revenue model that esports orgs have built a reputation on.

ONE37pm: In this current time, platforms like TikTok, YouTube, or just all these massive platforms. Do you believe content creators really need orgs to truly prosper? Or is it more of like a management team that they might need?

Glover: It's completely grey - I can't give you a direct answer because it's a case-by-case basis of what they're looking for, but that's where I think the issue is. They don't know what it is that they're looking for and they're signing esports org contracts without really understanding what they're signing. Why do they need them? What's the value that they bring to the table? And then on the reverse, I'd say the same thing for esports orgs, right? Why are we signing the types of people that were signing? And then how does that fit into our overall business model and our revenue approach of how our business makes money and also how we build a fan base for our not just for the creators that we sign?

ONE37pm: Got you. Now, when you hear two words, creator and entrepreneurship, what thoughts come to mind?

Glover: To the people listening, I'm crossing my fingers. One in and of themselves.

ONE37pm: Understood. I'm pretty sure you've seen the new SypherPK facility that cost 10 million. Do you think we'll see more of that?

Glover: I love it!! 100%. That's just one example. I think Doctor Disrespect is far above anyone else in starting his own gaming studio. I'm just going to sit around and 25% of every creator's content is complaining about the game that they play. Doc will still do that. Of course, that's part of the culture is poking fun at all the issues that the game goes through to try to make it better. But Doc put his own money where his mouth is, which he said, well then screw it. I'm not just going to complain about the games. I'm going to go develop my own gaming studio and create my own game. But having your own gaming studio and having your own whiskey - those are two heavy costs upfront just like the operation investment to build and grow those types of businesses. What SpherPK is doing, that's a long-term eight to ten-year type play to build and scale out what he's looking to build. And you saw the Moist and Ludwig announcement, right? On and on. 

But I don't have an esports org. That's just the model of consulting and helping brands get into the gaming space. But I don't care if the audience starts to follow VaynerSports, Twitter, and Instagram, right? And wants those audience members to not only engage with the talent, to not only engage with the brand, but it's their responsibility to create new fans. I feel like they forgot that in a lot of the campaigns that I see they're not thinking of, they didn't successfully create that accomplishment. They accomplished what the creator wanted. They accomplished what the brand wanted, but they forgot to accomplish what their own business needed.

ONE37pm: Two more questions. Engaged following versus a large following - which one do you think is more impactful and beneficial?

Glover: My quick answer is always going to be engaged. My longer, higher-level thinking is it all depends on what the opportunity is.

ONE37pm: Then a silly question - what was your favorite album last year? I know you're a music guy.

Glover: Oh, shit! I got to look at my music playlist because I listen to so much, just kind of like all over the place. I mean, I'm going to give a shout-out to one of my friends, but his music is amazing. Cal Scruby. His newest album is called Casino. So I'm going to say that upfront. But I would probably say my favorite album of last year. I don't mean to make this a long answer, but I don't know, man, to be honest with you, I'm not a big album guy. Big bodies of work like that. There's just a lot of good music.

ONE37pm: Any song that's like an anthem for you right now?

Glover: Right now, I would say the song that I brought back to my playlist is "Sunset."

ONE37pm: I love Sunset. It's on the Dreamville Revenge of the Dreamers 3 album. I don't know why, but for the last two or three weeks, I love that.

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