ESL – Global Host City Partnerships

The Experience 

Ronnie and his team have been of immense help to us, in navigating the inner complexities of city and government decision making. – Ulrich Schulze, EVP, ESL 

The Brief 

ESL is the world’s largest organizer of esport competitions, with events all over the globe, selling major arenas and reaching hundreds of millions over broadcast.  

ESL build their long-term event model on a festival-like set-up. They enter cities and regions for multiple days and build expos, festivities and conferences around their world-class esport tournaments. 

ESL’s concept is significantly more substantial than other esport organizers. The events take place in the largest arenas in the world.  As such, they are looking to engage with cities with a long-term strategy, interested in building a legacy and a long-standing event property for their city. 

Leading the emerging industry of esport, ESL had a need to document the social and economic impact of their events, as well as fostering relations with city departments across the globe. Introducing them to esport and demonstrating their leadership engaging the digital generation and offering excellent value to partner cities in the context of technology and innovation.  

The actions 

GK developed an array of scientifically based impact reports documenting the effects the events with fundament on methodologies and analysis reflecting the most realistic results, that are argument proof and are widely accepted amongst host city officials.  

Together with ESL, developed the well-received concept of Esport Host City Workshops, where city officials visit the most significant events and spend an excellent esport weekend, learning about the industry, the general fit with event trends and case studies of cities that have partnered with ESL for their strategic advantage.  

GK assisted the cities ascertain the fit between their strategic objectives and hosting an ESL event. Helping them understand the value of the rights on offer 

The Results 

Raised offers from host cities incorporating financial support, substantial value in kind and free integration into the city’s promotional placements.  

The reports substantiate a strong value proposition to become host of ESL events. 

The workshops form the base for ongoing relationships and facilitate the negotiation of several long-term host city partnerships with cities in multiple continents.