Australian company Seven West Media Limited has announced a new partnership with St George Bank for a new multi-platform esports league called ScreenPLAY.
ScreenPLAY is Seven West Media’s brand new “social, mobile-first brand” focused on all things Australian and overseas esports, including the games themselves, professional tournaments, interviews with the players, gaming news and live streams. It integrates multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitch and YouTube along with Seven Network’s 7Mate to reach audiences far beyond the traditional broadcast-only television show format.
ScreenPLAY has significant local Australian gaming talent involved, including former hosts of ABC’s Good Game, Stephanie Bendixsen and Nich Richardson.
Seven chief digital officer Clive Dickens said they hope to give competitive video gaming more significant promotion in Australia via the ScreenPLAY league and multi-channel approach, and to become a platform for local esport talent to springboard off into the international tournament circuit – as well as a slice of the very profitable esports pie currently taking the world by storm.
“We need to have this sustainable approach to this total video strategy – esports is the next big cab off the rank,” Mr Dickens said. “We are aware that the target audience for esports, therefore ScreenPlay, do not come to broadcast for their first point of contact.”
“screenPLAY is already creating an authentic connection direct to the esport and gaming community in a way never seen before in this country. screenPLAY creates relevant, premium content and influencers, and aggregates this into actionable data and analytics for both our advertising partners and Seven West Media to further leverage,” Seven’s Chief Revenue Officer Kurt Burnette said.
St George Bank is the first bank in the country to sponsor esports, and they currently have a long-running 10 per cent cashback offer on online gaming related purchases.
“We found St George customers alone are doing over 50,000 transactions on video game payments every month,” general manager Ross Miller said. “From our data, that’s greater than Spotify, iTunes and Ticketmaster.”
“We’re really excited to partner with Seven and support a growing industry that Aussie families enjoy. St.George has a long history of supporting community sports and esports is no different. We’re proud to be the first bank in Australia to back esports and help take it to the next level.”
Seven executives said more information will be released in the coming weeks, but so far it has been confirmed ScreenPLAY will launch with two of the most popular video games currently making waves in the booming global esports market, projected to exceed $1 billion this year and over $1.23 billion (USD) in 2019 according to Superdata.
While Seven West Media is currently tight-lipped on the first ever esports games they will broadcast on ScreenPLAY, we’ll take an easy guess and say it will probably be Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Halo, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch or Rocket League.