ESPAT TV Announces Esports-Focused ‘Creative Collective,’ Partners With Ridley Scott Creative Group
Esports and gaming-focused production company ESPAT TV officially announced the launch of the Creative Collective on Monday, and unveiled a major partnership with the Ridley Scott Creative Group. The goal of the Creative Collective, according to ESPAT TV, is to create multifaceted content aimed at the esports community and the platforms they frequent.
The Creative Collective is described by ESPAT TV as a consortium of content creators, producers, marketing specialists, and filmmakers that includes Ridley Scott Creative Group’s family of companies (RSA Films, Scott Free Films, Black Dog Films, and Darling); sports and esports event, movie, and television production company PRG; esports and gaming community-focused content creator and Esports Stadium Austin owner Esports Locker; video production and content creation firm Unbridled Media; and TikTok-focused agency Movers & Shakers.
Responding to questions about the partnership, Molly Bohas, executive producer at Ridley Scott Creative Group’s Black Dog Films, told The Esports Observer: “ESPAT TV spans several platforms that run parallel to our existing strengths, from commercial to live events and other non-traditional media. A collaborative venture to explore these new opportunities is a perfect fit.”
Ridley Scott Creative Group Director Christian Lamb added, “The Ridley Scott Creative Group of companies has a well-known pedigree in storytelling in advertising, branded and entertainment media. With our collective global creative experience, we’re well placed to bridge the gap to the gaming world to create content that engages different audiences.”
Speaking to TEO about the announcement, ESPAT TV Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dante Simpson likened the Creative Collective to a superhero group.
“Ridley Scott Creative Group is now a part of our group with a commitment to esports. So we are that premium collective group that’s committed to esports specifically, with groups like PRG, Esports Locker, Movers & Shakers, etc., we brought together the ‘Super Friends’ of production studios. We look to work with publishers, teams, individual entertainers, brands, and streaming platforms as well.”
Simpson said that the partnership with Ridley Scott Creative Group came about through a combination of the group’s interest in entering the space, wanting to pivot to something new during the COVID-19 pandemic, and sheer timing.
“We identified premium studios that had non-overlapping capabilities,” Simpson said. “And we said, ‘Okay, who does not overlap, but is best-in-show and what exactly does that look like?’ We approached them, we pitched them on the concept. This [entering the gaming and esports space] was something that they were looking to do. We happened to talk to them at the perfect time and our visions aligned. Having the opportunity to speak with their leadership team and getting them to understand what we were doing, and finding that perfect alignment kind of birthed this overall relationship.”
Simpson notes that each of these partners bring different styles of production and expertise aimed at specific audiences and platforms that are on board to tackle different kinds of creative challenges. From the organic, community-focused content made by content creators and streamers popularized on platforms such as Twitch, YouTube, and TikTok, to the high-end Hollywood-calibre productions from filmmakers with slick ad campaigns created by Madison Avenue marketing agencies, ESPAT TV’s Creative Collective hopes to cover all the bases and offer solutions to clients and collaborators based on the stories they want to tell.
He sees these categories of content, or “buckets” as he calls them, filled by all these different partners and their unique perspectives.
“So, I’ll share a sample of the model: Let’s just say that we’re talking to a brand, for example, and we’re creatively working with the publisher and tournament organizer for whom they’ve got the global partnership. The publisher would be speaking with ESPAT TV in that hypothetical. We’ll hold the paper, we’ll hold the deal. Then our creative team will get to work on that project. Ridley Scott Creative Group sits as the premium in that team of creatives. So If somebody is looking for more organic grassroots content, from a production perspective, that would not likely go in the Ridley bucket.”
The main mission statement of the group is to create authentic content that properly represents the culture of esports and gaming, and to tell the kinds of stories these communities want to know about. The creative itself will encompass a number of categories including advertising, live event coverage, long- and short-form films, social media, organic content, and more created for teams, endemic and non-endemic brands, publishers, tournament organizers, etc.
Some of this work will be commercial in nature, while others will be passion projects that tell important stories. Simpson used ESPN’s 30-by-30 documentary series as an example of the content the Collective wants to create to tell stories the community wants to hear.
“We’re looking to broaden that component of the collective, telling some of the stories that you haven’t heard. Stories like, for example, ‘How did Hector leave OpTic, go to NRG, then come back and purchase OpTic?’ Like, what actually happened there? Think of an ESPN 30-for-30 telling premium content stories.”
Simpson also offered his time working with boxer Floyd Mayweather and HBO’s 24/7 series as another example of why the Collective wants to produce that kind of content.
“I, in a past life, worked with Floyd Mayweather; I was with him during the 24/7 series. If you watched the show, you may not have liked boxing, but you could have had an attraction to one of the fighters based on that show alone. It was the way that they targeted a new audience.”
Simpson declined to comment on if Ridley Scott Creative Group was making any investments in the Creative Collective or Espat TV: “Sorry, we’re not able to discuss the financial terms,” he said, but added that, while the group isn’t seeking outside investments right now they will be in the future because there has been some early interest.
“We are not [seeking investments] at this moment, but we will be. So that is on the horizon. We are going to be opening up an opportunity for a select few to come to the table, and there have been folks that have already expressed interest, even prior to us bringing the opportunity to the market. There are some folks that put their names in the hat even prior to [this announcement], which is always a good place to be.”
Simpson hinted that there will be some major partnerships with esports organizations and rights holders announced “soon,” but would not elaborate further.
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