Allied Esports Sees Uptick in Fan Engagament After Going Online
Allied Esports Entertainment has taken its live event experiences online during the COVID-19 crisis netting increased engagement, registration, participation, and viewership within its two business units, World Poker Tour and Allied Esports International.
“Like everyone in the live entertainment and event industry, the first pillar of our business has been temporarily shuttered to help flatten the curve and put a stop to this global pandemic, which we fully support,” said Frank Ng, CEO of Allied Esports Entertainment. “Where we stand out is in the quick and strategic decisions we have made to continue to serve our loyal communities and our industries at a time when they need us most. We firmly believe that our heightened focus on our content and online services will not only carry us through these unprecedented times, but further funnel new fans to our live events when it is safe to bring everyone back together.”
Prior to the cancellation of in-person World Poker Tour events around the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company had initiated further development of its interactive division, including the subscription-based online platform ClubWPT. That decision, along with the expansion of partnerships with OTT and linear television providers, has positioned WPT as a market leader for online poker entertainment during the coronavirus crisis and expanded the company’s user base for future interaction between online and offline events when normal operations return. Below are highlights outlining recent success of the business:
- New Wave of Subs: Players registering at ClubWPT for the first time between March 1 and April 10 increased 148% compared to 2019. ClubWPT revenue is up 33% over the same time period.
- OTT on the Rise: OTT viewership numbers increased 125% in Q1 year-over-year on platforms including PlutoTV, SamsungTV, and Xumo. WPT’s OTT viewership hit 8.2 million in Q1 this year.
- Linear Stays Strong: WPT continues to be one of the highest-rated shows on FOX Sports reaching more than 1 million viewers per week across first airings and syndication in the U.S. On a global level, the show reaches an audience of more than 200 million.
- New FOX Deal: WPT Studios recently secured a new deal with FOX Sports 1 and 2 (FS1 and FS2) to air WPT’s content library nationally to more than 82 million households.
- Wider Reach: Syndication of WPT programming has grown by 25% through new agreements with AT&T, Sinclair Networks, Cox Sports, Right Now TV, Action Channel, and Altitude Sports.
- First Events on RMG Platform: WPT announced the debut of the WPT Online Series, including $30 million in guarantees and $9 million guaranteed among WPT-branded events, that will take place on partypoker this May. The event is WPT’s first on a real money gaming platform.
As video game enthusiasts abide by stay-at-home restrictions in the U.S. and around the world, online video game play continues to see a rise. Allied Esports, owner and operator of HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, the HyperX Esports Trucks and the company’s affiliate program, the Allied Esports Property Network, moved its U.S. tournament operations and production services online on March 14, generating the following highlights through April 19:
- New Productions: Allied Esports expanded its partner services to include online tournament production and agreed to produce a series of 10 FIFA matches and broadcasts for The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) to help the team’s foundation raise funds for COVID-19 causes. The first two streams generated 650,000 total live views, with a high of 18,143 concurrent viewers on April 5.
- Social Surge: With a focus on content and online tournament participation, social media interaction increased dramatically across Allied Esports’ Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts versus the same time period immediately before the closure of the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas due to COVID-19.
- Instagram: Engagements +1,697%, Impressions +8,282%, Followers +11%
- Twitter: Engagements: +4,616%, Impressions +1,724%, Profile visits +97.8%
- Facebook: Engagements +120,728%, Reach +47,803%, Page Views +178%
- More Chances to Play: The company’s first online tournaments in the U.S. registered a 30% increase in participation compared to in-person events at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas.
- Broader Reach: Online tournaments also saw participation expand beyond Las Vegas, with 50% of total players residing outside of Nevada.
- Trusted Partner: HyperX joined the new online tournaments as a presenting partner, expanding the companies’ multi-continent relationship.
- Esports Entertainment: Allied Esports and Club 42 produced The Clubhouse, a charity Fortnite event and stream featuring professional gamers and baseball players that registered 91,566 total views on Twitch across the company’s and participant streaming channels. Allied Esports also gained 992 new followers on Twitch.
Based on the success of the online production services and tournaments, Allied Esports intends to continue with both products after HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas reopens. The company will also continue to work with local and state officials as well as partners on a reopening plan for its flagship arena and mobile esports trucks.