The Eurovision Song Contest and esports both enjoy, or perhaps resent, a level of relative obscurity. Many have heard of it but perhaps cannot be bothered to understand such a spectacle. Even within Europe, Eurovision is put in the corner. Esports too.
“The first time we worked on the Eurovision Song Contest was in Hamburg, Germany,” Linda Garcia-Bowles told The Esports Journal. “It was quite unusual to be called as a UK-based agency to do something which has to very much feel like the host nation, because you compete as a nation to win [the competition], so that the next year you host it. It’s a proud national event.” Garcia-Bowles is Client Partner for London’s Turquoise Branding, an agency that doesn’t shy away from obscurity.
“In the pitch,” she continued, “they did say to us, ‘The UK doesn’t seem to care much for Eurovision, so why do you want to win the job?’” The legacy of the event and the grand scope of such a curious brief was Tuquoise’s reasoning. They’ve since grown accustomed to branding with such great impact. Turquoise was chosen again the following year to brand Eurovision for the new host nation in Baku, Azerbaijan.
New winner, new host nation. Do it again, Turquoise.
For Creative Partner Gareth Mapp, this is just another day in his 23 years of work. “I turn on the telly and I see loads of our work; I travel the world and I see work I’ve done.” Turquoise’s shade has been broadcast across the world: they’ve branded telecoms, sports leagues, video game studios and TV shows, from London to the Middle East to Russia.
The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest’s finale tallied over 182 million viewers — the contest’s lowest viewership since 2013 — and that same year, League of Legends Worlds boasted an average concurrent viewership of 1.04 million according to Esports Charts. Both events rally around song, both change host cities each year, and both are incredible spectacles. Turquoise has already branded one of these two legends (twice) and the agency is keen to add the other to its catalogue of work.
Helping esports branding mature
The agency was formed in 2003 by Strategy Partner Sharon Wheeler, who was later joined by Garcia-Bowles and Mapp. With a loaded body of clients and a focus on sport and entertainment, the agency is bustling. But the team always takes time to reflect.
Contemplation is necessary for the refinement of craft — to create something long-lasting. Branding’s core purpose is to create a recognisable identity. Recently, the agency has been contemplating: ‘why does branding feel almost disposable for so many in the esports sector?’
The sector is young, Turquoise has noticed, and it’s learning as it goes.
To read the rest of this piece, go to The Esports Journal Edition 8, page 48
Created in collaboration with Turquoise Branding