Sports icons are no strangers to the world of fashion, look at the trail that soccer star David Beckham has weaved. However, Collette Gangemi has set out for a new way for sports stars to become trailblazers in the fashion world through professional video game players.
ESports is nothing new these days with millions of players around the world. The most popular games to play include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Along with fashion, betting has also tapped into this virtual market with thousands of bets available for all games. Esportsbettingexperts.co.uk is the leader among the betting world with the website offering the best eSports sites for csgo betting in the UK for 2019.
Gangemi is the head of consumer products and merchandising at New York’s Excelsior team. They are one of the most popular professional eSports teams in the world. However, it’s not just on the sport where the designer has vowed to leave her mark. Gangemi made it her mission from the beginning to ensure the mixture between eSports and fashion. The virtual world has a massive reach. It is estimated to bring in over $1.5 billion in revenue by the summer of 2020. The most popular players have an array of fans around the globe. However, according to the designer, the eSports world has attempted to cash in on the popularity, but its plans haven’t been put into practical use effectively.
Gangemi contacted the streetwear designer James Bond and Melody Ehsani to collaborate with her eSports team. This means that huge names within the fashion industry design everything that the team wears from their jersey to the jewelry. It seems to have worked with these items now being sold in pop-up stalls through the beginning part of 2019. Ehsani was mindful of the audience of video games with as many females watching the sport as males. So she specifically targeted the female demographic, something that Gangemi revealed was 30% of their team’s fan base.
Twitch – the platform where viewers can stream virtual sports – has announced that over 380 million people watched the competitions over the past year, with 17.9 million hours spent watching virtual stars in just the first quarter of 2018.
However, it is massively inaccurate to call any of these players fashion icons. Although Gangemi does point to a player such as Nate Hill. Hill has bridged the gap between the worlds of eSports and fashion. The streamers have huge audiences, and these fans are located all around the world, meaning that we may not be too far away from somebody bridging that gap even shorter. These famous faces have massive audiences while the culture itself remains away from the mainstream, meaning the charm that keeps fans engaged remains.
What does the future look like?
Gaming was once a very niche market but has since become one of the biggest and most diverse markets in the world. To maximize profits in large markets, specific products usually fall to the wayside in support of products that appeal to the broader range of customers.
Simply put, eSports companies aren’t copying other sports leagues because they lack imagination — it’s merely the most proven way to make money.
The global dominance of sporting clothing around the world is mind-boggling. Global Industry Analysts, Inc. has estimated that the worldwide market for Sports and Fitness clothing will reach $230 Billion by 2024. Sportswear is specifically booming in Asia which coincidentally is the largest market for eSports.
Many of the present investors are connected with the sports industry with people like Mark Cuban and Magic Johnson. Meaning the link between fashion and eSports will be a profitable one within time. Sports stars will have a connection into the apparel world, while athletic wear also benefits the growth of the sport. The creation of apparel like in the NBA and NFL will help to create a connection between fans and their teams. It is an effective strategy to retain them as customers for the long haul.
An expert would be lying if they could say they knew the exact direction that eSports clothing is heading in. The gaming world is a unique industry which will likely produce original gaming apparel that will appeal to one specific market. So should you not like sports clothing, don’t expect your fashion tastes to be tingling by something your favorite virtual star is wearing.
That being said, it is a business, and many signs already point to eSports following the traditional sports model. It would be fair to say the future of eSports apparel looks trendy.