So Rough N’ Rowdy 12 is just a few weeks away and it acts as a clear symbol of what Dave and Barstool Sports should doing with Hooliganz. However, let me point out this isn’t a criticism because that would be pretty ridiculous. But I want to highly a few points which I think would be useful. The first point is ‘culture’. Barstool Sports success has come from entertaining the masses. Providing blog posts, videos, gifs etc for millions of people to experience as the audience. However, gaming is very different culture. It’s an ‘Avatar’ culture’ in which everyone wants to be recognized as an individual. This feeds into the second point, Barstool Sports should be seeking to create its own intellectual property in the form a Hooliganz eSports League.
Allowing gamers from around the world to join an app or website that helps to form teams with other gamers and then battle it out in a structured eSports league. A digital Rough N’ Rowdy in which the content comes from external people but Barstool owns the IP. This is the route Barstool Sports should be going down. Not just having their own staff streaming to people, because every Tom, Dick and Harry is doing that. But instead, creating it’s IP which identifies individuals and teams.
Erika Nardini recently became a Director at WWE. There should be a WWE eSports league with fans of WWE creating their own wrestlers (using a combination of safe words) and entering into an eSports. So when John Cena wins Wrestlemania a WWE fan in South Africa who calls his character ‘The Big Orange Splitter’ wins the Hooliganz WWE league, sponsored by a major brand. A WWE eSports league would create more content, pull in more fans and make the whole experience of WWE more ‘immersive’ for a marketplace which promises to grow rapidly over the next ten years.
This approach of creating eSports leagues creates more VALUE to gamers but is almost a polar opposite of culture to what Barstool Sports has done in the past. In the past Barstool Sports entertained the masses, yet with eSports it will be the masses entertaining one another, with prize money coming from a sponsor. Barstool Sports would act as a league organizer and referee using software. The only human interaction would be to commentate, instead of entertain.
Yet Barstool Sports does have experience of creating an IP where the masses entertain one another with Rough N’ Rowdy. Dave and his comrades provide the commentary whilst peoples pulled from the masses provide the entertainment. But Dave and Barstool Sports should be looking to create digital form of Rough n’ Rowdy with gamers instead of boxers.
But along with partnering with huge brands like WWE, it also allows Barstool Sports to expand into eSports gambling. The popularity of eSports amongst young people is incredible and in 10 to 20 years eSports will be challenging the dominance of basketball and football. The money in these sports go to the NBA and NFL. Barstool Sports should be creating its own IP and sports league. It’s own National eSports League. NESL.