Building a Collegiate Esports Program with Number29
With the recent rise of structured esports programs & scholarships on the collegiate levels, admissions and marketing departments around the country are beginning to take a serious look at the viability of an esports program at their own institutions.
The collegiate esports landscape can be very difficult to navigate, not to mention the learning curve necessary to understand all the different leagues and requirements for your school to actually be eligible to participate.
WHAT EXACTLY IS ESPORTS?
Esports is a massive, global series of video game competitions, with high school, college and professional leagues around the world. Esports is no joke—according to NewZoo, the market made almost $700M in revenue in 2017, with an audience of almost 400 million people.
Current speculation and projections show no sign of esports slowing down. While it can be difficult to understand the potential for esports globally, most estimations place esports another 5-10 years out from hitting its full potential.
WHICH SCHOOLS ARE CURRENTLY SUPPORTING ESPORTS ON THE COLLEGIATE LEVEL?
|Ashland University||Ohio||Division II|
|Averett University||Virginia||Division III|
|Becker College||Massachusetts||Division III|
|Benedictine University Mesa||Arizona||NAIA|
|Boise State University||Idaho||Division I|
|Central Methodist University||Missouri||NAIA|
|Coker College||South Carolina||Division II|
|College of St. Joseph||Vermont||Division II/NAIA|
|Defiance College||Ohio||Division III|
|Dickinson State University||North Dakota||NAIA|
|DigiPen Institute of Technology||Washington||N/A|
|Embry Riddle Aeronautical University||Arizona||NAIA|
|Florida Southern College||Florida||Division II|
|Fontbonne University||Missouri||Division III|
|Georgia Southern University||Georgia||Division I|
|Georgia State University||Georgia||Division I|
|Grand View University||Iowa||NAIA|
|Hawkeye Community College||Iowa||NJCAA|
|Illinois College||Illinois||Division III|
|Illinois Wesleyan University||Illinois||Division III|
|Indiana Institute of Technology||Indiana||NAIA|
|Iowa Central Community College||Iowa||NJCAA|
|Jarvis Christian College||Texas||NAIA|
|Kansas Wesleyan University||Kansas||NAIA|
|Keuka College||New York||Division III|
|King University||Tennessee||Division II|
|Lebanon Valley College||Pennsylvania||Division III|
|Lees-McRae College||North Carolina||Division II|
|Maryville University||Missouri||Division II|
|Miami (Ohio) University||Ohio||Division I|
|Missouri Baptist University||Missouri||NAIA|
|Missouri Valley College||Missouri||NAIA|
|Northern Virginia Community College||Virginia||NJCAA|
|Northwest Christian University||Oregon||NAIA|
|Ohio Northern University||Ohio||Division III|
|Oregon Institute of Technology||Oregon||NAIA|
|Pratt Community College||Kansas||NJCAA|
|Principia College||Illinois||Division III|
|Robert Morris University||Illinois||NAIA|
|Schreiner University||Texas||Division III|
|Shawnee State University||Ohio||NAIA|
|Shenandoah University||Virginia||Division III|
|Siena Heights University||Michigan||NAIA|
|Southwestern Oregon Community College||Oregon||NJCAA|
|Southwest Baptist University||Missouri||Division II|
|St. Ambrose University||Iowa||NAIA|
|St. Clair College||Ontario||OCAA|
|St. Louis College of Pharmacy||Missouri||NAIA|
|St. Thomas Aquinas College||New York||Division II|
|St. Thomas University||Florida||NAIA|
|Stevenson University||Maryland||Division III|
|SUNY Canton||New York||Division III|
|Texas Wesleyan||Texas||Division II|
|Tiffin University||Ohio||Division II|
|Trine University||Indiana||Division III|
|Union Community College||New Jersey||NJCAA|
|University of Akron||Ohio||Division I|
|University of California-Irvine||California||Division I|
|University of Jamestown||North Dakota||NAIA|
|University of Mount Union||Ohio||Division III|
|University of North Texas||Texas||Division I|
|University of Pikeville||Kentucky||NAIA|
|University of Providence||Montana||NAIA|
|University of Saint Mary||Kansas||NAIA|
|University of South Carolina-Sumter||South Carolina||NJCAA|
|University of South Carolina-Union||South Carolina||NJCAA|
|University of Utah||Utah||Division I|
|West Virginia Wesleyan College||West Virginia||Division II|
|Western Kentucky University||Kentucky||Division I|
WHO WE ARE
Number29 is a 100% distributed marketing & creative agency, based out of Las Vegas, NV. We offer over 20 years of brand & marketing experience with clients such as Disney, National Geographic, McGraw Hill, Pearson Education, Drury Hotels, Super Evil Mega Corp, and many more. This expertise and commitment to quality work, coupled with years of gaming and esports involvement, allows us to set our sights on being the premier esports brand and marketing agency in North America.
Over the last four years, we have become involved within the esports space, developing team infrastructures, brand strategies, long-term growth programs, content and community platforms, marketing and event planning and everything in-between. We have worked hand in hand with some of the worlds largest companies, productions and developers around the globe from China and Southeast Asia, to Europe and North America. Throughout this time, we have found a burgeoning industry that is being built on passion and hard work, by the very gamers it serves. As gamers ourselves, this inspired us to focus solely on the future of esports and our role within it.
THE FUTURE IS ESPORTS
Industry growth trajectory for the next three years (2018-2021)
- All major U.S. media conglomerates will have digital esports media rights.
- Esports will help gaming grow into a bigger industry than traditional pro sports.
- Esports will not be a part of the Olympics as we know it, but the Olympics will be involved with esports.
- The term esports will start to disappear.
- The highest-earning team will generate over $10 million in gross revenue.
- A mobile esports athlete will become a millionaire by winning one event.
- The first $100-million-a-year esports media-rights deal will be made.
- The three most popular esports will each have well-structured national competitions that flow into international events.
- The world’s 10 most valuable brands (based on enterprise value) will sponsor esports.
- Esports will generate more revenue than rugby, globally.
HOW DO ESPORTS BENEFIT STUDENTS?
Collegiate esports programs have been cropping up throughout the U.S. at a amazing rate over the last two years. While offering an esports program not only allows an educational institution to stay competitive, it also offers very real outcomes for students that participate within these programs.
Gaining skills for their future career. Like many college clubs and sports, esports helps students learn valuable skills that will serve them well throughout their life. Among the skills developed through esports are: strategic thinking, teamwork, collaboration, goal setting, preparation, and managing success and failure – not to mention quick reflexes.
Expanded career opportunities.M In addition to developing important skills that can help students succeed in just about anything they do, esports itself is a fast growing industry that offers many job opportunities beyond being a pro player. These include careers related to production, programming, marketing, project management, management of esports teams, game development, information technology, graphic design, business management, finance, and even STEM fields.
A pathway to afford college. More than 60 colleges now offer esports programs, with many more on the horizon. Groups like TESPA & CSL offer tournament prizes in the form of scholarships to help students pay for a college. Because of this, esports at the college level can motivate students who lack the funding to continue on in higher education.
Social engagement & social skills development. Gaming is often a solitary activity and students who enjoy gaming are often those who are less involved in school activities. Competitive esports provides a way for like-minded students to gather either in person or virtually on a regular basis, in pursuit of common goals – providing a sense of belonging for those who might otherwise opt out of school activities. As a scheduled school activity, esports clubs provide the opportunity to form friendships, gain respect from fellow students and gain increased self-esteem.
HOW WILL ESPORTS BENEFIT OUR COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY?
When students do well, schools do well. All of the benefits listed above are also a great thing for the college itself. In addition, schools that build esports programs during these early days are quite likely to receive positive media exposure from the community and even nationally. An esports team can also bring in new sources of revenue for a school from sponsors and advertising.