Clifford Morgan is the CEO of Gamma Labs and GFUEL. He’s speaking at the SportsPro TBC (The Brand Conference) in London on September 28th.
Energy drink GFUEL sponsors the likes of Optic, FaZe, Tempo Storm and has a far longer list of brand ambassadors. We spoke to Clifford about activating sponsorships, the esports space and what he’ll be discussing at SportsPro TBC.
Esports Insider: What have the past twelve months been like for Gamma Labs and GFUEL?
Clifford Morgan:. Managing and scaling our rapid growth has been exciting, and has also been a challenge. The more successful the brand becomes, the more opportunities present themselves, thus creating more expenses and more projects! It is nice to have some momentum, but we know the biggest growth is still yet to come.
ESI: You’ve had arrangements in place with ESL, for IEM, with teams such as Optic, FaZE and more. How do you decide on a sponsorship for GFUEL? How do you value their costs against judging their ROIs?
Clifford: Each sponsorship is evaluated independently. We don’t have a set formula, but we do like positive ROI’s. We look at the total media reach, size of the channels, growth rate, etc. It’s difficult, and nigh on impossible, to gauge an ROI on a league sponsorship, so we pick our spots carefully.
ESI: How do you best activate an esports team sponsorship?
Clifford: Everyone uses the word “authentic”, but the truth is we activate each team in a way that’s unique to them. That’s what makes the relationship authentic. Each activation is different, just as each org or pro has their own character or personality
ESI: Having brand ambassadors on board is vital for a company such as Gamma Labs. You have a huge number of personalities on your books, do you feel amassing an army of ambassadors makes more sense than one headline name?
Clifford: The authenticity of the brand attachment is more valuable than the name. Our army of ambassadors use GFUEL every day, not only when they’re on camera.
“GFUEL is endemic to esports. No other energy drink company or supplement company will ever be part of the community like we are”
Many of our ambassadors want to be affiliated with our brand because we do cool stuff and have a cool vibe.
ESI: Are you concerned with the over saturation of energy drinks and supplements companies targeting the esports market? How do you stand out and ensure your message is the one that hits home?
Clifford: GFUEL is endemic to esports. No other energy drink company or supplement company will ever be part of the community like we are. We grew up in the industry, everyone else is either copying us, or just outspending us to get billboard-type advertising. We know we need to continue to evolve with the space.
“I’ll be discussing the value proposition between esports and traditional sports, and the developing trends in esports”
It’s a fluid landscape and being part of the community ensures our message stays relevant and current.
ESI: What will you be discussing at the SportsPro Brand Conference later this month?
Clifford: I’ll be discussing the value proposition between esports and traditional sports, and the developing trends in esports.
Now that large, non-endemic companies are coming into the space with big checkbooks, things are changing rapidly. Traditional sports clubs are figuring out they need to evolve with the times as well, and they have the capital, but there’s some confusion as the space is still developing.
ESI: What would be your main piece of advice for outsider brands looking to enter esports communities?
Clifford: There is no substitute for time. Pouring money into the space to generically advertise is not a formula for success. Legitimate brand integration takes planning, execution and time. Money helps, but it doesn’t leap-frog time.
Disclaimer: Esports Insider is a Media Partner of SportsPro TBC on September 28th. To find out more about it, you can read on here