Jon Gottfried, Co-Founder & CMO, Major League Hacking

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What changes in consumer viewing habits and audience engagement will have the greatest impact on viewing in traditional, linear TV?

One of the biggest changes we’re seeing is the shift towards mobile consumption of media. It’s no longer an experience where people sit on their couch with their friends watching TV. People are watching bite-size clips in a variety of apps while they’re waiting for the subway, or listening to podcasts on their drive to work, or looking up stats in an app while they’re killing time. Not only that, but everyone is creating content around their own opinions and analysis of what’s going on. Whether it’s a quick rant for their friends on social media or a blog post on their own site, everyone is a media creator today which can devalue traditional commentary.

What kind of companies are poised for growth in the world of sports and entertainment today?

The companies that are most well-positioned for growth are those that leverage user-generated content. At MLH, we see technology creators making their own video and written content around the topics they’re excited about – these might be technical tutorials or even just a promotional video for something they created. The companies that best leverage the networks of people who create this content and the platforms for them to post it have massive room to grow, unconstrained by traditional media limitations.

What do you think is the most significant marketing trend in eSports? 

One of the biggest trends is leveraging influencers and amateur content creators both in terms of sponsorships and the actual creation of marketing channels. We see this every day with our audience of 65,000 student technology creators. Whether they’re passionate about sports or gaming or robotics, they can build a niche audience of others who care about those topics and create content specifically tailored to those people who care about the same things they do. Brands can take advantage of these niches, which are smaller but more valuable than a traditional mainstream audience.

What advice would you give someone on the Agency side who wants to enter the sports marketing world today? 

Find ways for your clients to position themselves alongside marketing channels that cater to specific interest areas. You don’t need to build out an ad campaign against a specific TV program’s audience when you can build out micro-campaigns that are focused on specific brand integration points for people with a lot of different interests that all bubble up to some mega-topic like innovation or game streaming.

What would you tell someone on the Brand side who wants to enter the marketing world today? 

Look for opportunities to tap into the communities of people who rally around their interests. It might be a sports team, or a video game, or a piece of technology – find ways to create authentic experiences for an influential niche of people and they will spread the word on your behalf. You don’t need to spend millions of dollars on a big media event – you could sponsor hundreds of local, regionally influential events with the same budget.


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