On this week’s edition of Inside The Screen, host Aaron “Don” Dukes sits down with Jay and Julian, founders of SWIPE to talk about all things related to their company. Jay has roughly five years of experience working in esports and gaming starting at Infinite (which is where he met Julian), and eventually moving over to Complexity Gaming where he has spent the last two years working in graphic design. Jay also does graphic work for a creative agency, and uses all of his skills now with Swipe Mouse Pads.
Inside The Screen With The Founders of SWIPE
Founders Jay and Julian are the latest to sit down with Don
Julian has been leading esports organizations for nearly ten years, starting at Obey Alliance before jumping to Luminosity Gaming, and similar to Jay, Julian also uses his many years in the gaming industry as a basis for how he approaches SWIPE as it continues to grow as an organization. Don chopped it up with Jay and Julian in a 30-minute conversation that you will definitely want to check out. Here is a preview of their interview.
Don: What Inspired SWIPE? There are a lot of mouse brands out there, but what specifically inspired this one?
Julian: I think there is a lot of value in doing something that isn’t just gaming, and myself and Jay talked about doing something new. We are always in esports and working on all of this different stuff that is team based, and we began thinking about how to build this brand from a sponsored perspective. When it comes to SWIPE, the model we take on is very much one with a creator mentality.
The concept of creating a peripheral/mouse pad company was extremely exciting for us because I don’t believe there’s a lot of mousepad companies in this space that are going to be able to accommodate creators the way we can. The main reason that we wanted to start our business was because of the network we already had, and the excitement of the model we are applying to our company. It just felt like a really cool thing to do.
Don: What video games raised you guys?
Jay: I was raised by a ton of Pokemon and fighting games. I actually stopped gaming for a while, and was into skateboarding for about six or seven years. After skateboarding I was full on Call of Duty! I played Call of Duty tournaments for such a long time, so I would say those were the games that shaped me.
Julian: I say Call of Duty as well, and I think bo2 because that was the game that blew up the trickshotting and sniping scene for me, so I’ll always remember that!
Don: You guys both dropped out of college and started doing something that you were passionate about and could make capital from. What is the vision for Swipe Mouse Pads, and where do you want to take this?
Jay: For me, I am really big on branding. I want SWIPE to have an amazing brand that is known through the creator community, and I want us to create value for creators, esports players, and the consumer that buys the product. One of the biggest things I’ve seen in gaming recently is creators taking deals to strictly benefit themselves and not their fans.
SWIPE offers creators the opportunity to think about how they can create a partnership based on the value to their fans, not just on the check they are going to get. We’re here to serve the community, and that is what I feel is lost by brands specifically in the creative space because they are giving checks to creators without a second thought to their supporters. One of the visions I have is to be a brand in which creators can rely on.
Julian: Jay is right on point. Swipe is a real natural partnership with our ability to customize and create a product for creators. It’s not just about “selling a swipe mouse pad”—we aren’t going to leak too much, but we’re making full blown products, packaging, and everything made by the creator with Swipe being secondary because we realize how important it is for creators to have their name on products and really own it.
This is something that I’ve talked about even from an esports team perspective because fans are very self aware of the deals that go on, the amount of effort that creators put into their deals, and even when their favorite creator is signing a new one. Fans know those things, so it’s important to have products that they can get behind. If I just went to a creator and asked them to promote—the engagement rate would be very low, but if I were to go to a creator and tell them to make their own mouse pad and put their name on it, that would go much further than any advertisement.