#047 - Let's Talk Sales in Esports

with Chris Smith, Director of Big Esports


  • This is something we at BIG Esports have seen firsthand over the past 9 months and have over a dozen internal instances of the following examples happening
  • Understanding the power of a great sales team, no matter what industry you’re currently operating in
  • There are some esports & gaming companies that already employ great sales staff, take a look at FaZe clan for example with Jeffery Pabst and his team, but we’ve seen many others that do not
  • In one week recently, we had 4 different esports entities, from Tier-2 teams to publisher-based leagues approach us and ask for help in selling sponsorship assets as a commission-only service
  • While its great that we are getting attention internally, there’s a different sales solution that I would like to propose


  • The data says that teams gather 70-80%+ of revenue from sponsorship (even 90%+ in developing leagues like Australia), yet we’ve noticed that they often don’t have a single sales team member
  • These teams are also raising capital to grow, citing upcoming sponsorship sales as their major upside without means to produce these sponsorship
  • Some Teams have 15,000 square ft facilities, multiple gaming squads, coaches and a chef all on salary yet no sales team to support incoming revenue or consideration in their plans to facilitate one 

We constantly get approached by organisations in Australia and abroad for help with sponsorship sales. Here’s why it never works out 

  • It’s commission only – Why does that matter?
  • We need to develop what they’re selling, which includes multiple days of deck building and identifying, understanding and pricing their saleable assets
  • We provide them with a lot of transferred IP, including our contact books, pricing models, content know-how, deck building & graphics design and more
  • The upside is potentially low and the sales process can be long. As a start-up, is it financially viable for me to allocate 50% of a staff members time to work a potential 6 months on a deal where the biggest upside for us could be a 20% commission on a $100,000 sale? Bearing in mind that this sale is paramount in the success of the client business.
  • Ultimately, we’re counter-pitching them a combined retainer & commission model for access to our IP, effort & sales process. If you’re generally paying a sales manager $60-$80k per year to do this internally, why are you expecting us to do it for free? Especially given we’re already well ahead in contacts & experience.



  • Employ an out-of-home sales agency to work alongside you
  • Give them an incentive to care & to try (more than commission only which hasn’t worked for any of my friends who have tried it)
  • Treat them as an employee
  • Use them in one of three ways:
    • To do sole sales
    • To work alongside your internal team or,
    • Train up your team over an agreed upon period
  • Use that knowledge to create a great and profitable business


Ultimately what I think is that you’re paying this retainer for the company to care. If we’ve got a potentially low upside, the client companies deck needs a lot of work and we have dozens of sponsor company contacts that we really care about and want to protect, there’s a very small possibility I’m actually willing or able to dedicate my time and resources to solving your issues for you.

If you resonate with this discussion, we’re open to helping you with these sales opportunities and there are many other gaming-based PR/sales organisations that I’m sure would like to hear from you.

Reach me on LinkedIn

or via [email protected]

or all other social channels @smithymayo


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