Fnatic’s partnership team explain how they used rich consumer insight to strengthen their pitching strategy, over-deliver on targets and win a major partnership with a global CPG brand.
“If it wasn't for GWI, we wouldn't have been able to do that deal. It was integral, not just valuable.”
Established in 2004, Fnatic is a founding father of the esports industry, helping to shape the future of sports entertainment.
The brand’s professional gamers have won thousands of tournaments, inspiring a community of tens of millions of fans in the process.
World-class players represent Fnatic in all corners of the globe, attending more than 75 international events a year and participating in 10 different titles, including League of Legends, Dota 2, FIFA and CS:GO. With over a decade of big wins, the Fnatic team continues to be at the forefront of the esports industry.
The mission: "To forge a nation of 1bn Fnatics".
Getting insight, not just data.
It’s no revelation that the global esports industry is seeing exponential growth. Brands across sectors are looking to get in on the action, be part of the movement and take advantage of the wealth of opportunity.
But not all brands are aware of the vast scope of the opportunity on offer.
For Craig Santicchia, Partnerships Manager at Fnatic, educating businesses on the exciting world of esports is a top priority, and a key challenge.
Consumer data is vital for his team to provide best-in-class account management and establish partnerships with brands that align with Fnatic as the company scales.
But they needed something else - something more.
“When I first started at Fnatic about a year and a half ago, we had very limited data,'' says Craig. “We had the big, grand numbers that everyone in the industry had seen.
"What was missing was the real insight."
Craig saw this as an opportunity to help differentiate Fnatic from the competition.
“The world of esports can be seen as a murky, new world, '' he says. “We spend a lot of our time educating brands about the industry, Fnatic and its place in the ecosystem. Fnatic is a world-leader with over 55 million fans worldwide, but not everyone knows that.”
"GWI has 100% helped. It doesn’t just give us data and information - it gives us insight."
The demand for insight like this arises from the need to treat the esports audience like a unique entity.
“Each esports gaming title has its own profile and community of fans that speak their own language. A League of Legends fan is different to a Counter Strike : Global Offensive fan, for example.
Much like in traditional sports, a cricket fan is different to a football fan - there might be some crossover, but it’s minimal. It’s the same in esports, each game is essentially its own sport – and at Fnatic, we’re multi-lingual.”
It’s a common misconception, but Craig believes he can help shed some light on it.
Telling a better story.
Having access to deeper consumer insight enabled Fnatic to tell their story with greater confidence. It brought the conversation to life for prospects while offering solid commercial context in the exciting, yet unfamiliar world of esports.
This allowed the company to pitch for new businesses in previously unexplored verticals.
“Depending on the brand and the category that we're pitching to, we express the data in a way that tells the right story to resonate with them.
Having valid, reference-able data that they know and recognize gives us that credibility.”
Craig explains how Fnatic built a robust pitching strategy using insights at every stage: “We give them the information and insight that they want to see as well as what is most relevant for them. We then introduce how our assets and services will help them gain access to the highly valuable and engaged esports audience.”
Gaining client trust with credible insight.
The insights-driven approach to pitching was a turning point for Fnatic, and has resulted in them securing new business deals with some very high profile brands.
One of the biggest partnership wins came in the form of a global CPG brand, after the Fnatic team reached out with an opportunity, identified from the data.
“We used GWI to paint a picture of the opportunity around snacks in particular as well as behaviors within the audience."
Because the brand already used GWI themselves, they knew that the data was credible.
"We put together a bespoke package with an influencer activation using said data. The results speak for themselves - we have over-delivered by up to 180% and have begun negotiations to extend to a wider partnership that scales globally."
- Improved pitching process with access to better insight.
- Won and expanded a major partnership.
- Over-delivered on targets.
"If it wasn't for GWI, we wouldn't have been able to do that deal. It was integral, not just valuable.
Now when we pitch, we feel like we're giving valuable insight into the audience.
This ensures we’re better prepared than we could have ever been previously.”