Following our recent interview with Copenhagen Flames, we were lucky enough to also get to sit down with Yann Salsedo, Head of Esports at Razer. Team Razer is one of the main sponsors and partners of Copenhagen Flames and many other major Esports teams such as Mousesports and Evil Geniuses and we had a talk with Yann about how the relationship between esports organization and sponsor works.
As one of the leading and most easily recognized brands in the gaming industry, do you feel like Team Razer can contribute something unique compared to regular sponsors? If so, what.
Team Razer represents the pinnacle of gaming and are the ultimate inspiration to the gaming community. However, we go beyond merely achieving wins in major tournaments, we also celebrate the full journey of our sponsored esports athletes.
By telling the stories about the struggles, journeys and dreams of our professional teams and athletes, we ensure that it will increase engagement with our core fans and customers. We also want people to look beyond the perceived glitz and glamour of professional esports, at the hard work and mental strain these players go through and the network of roles supporting them and the ecosystem.
As Sponsors, do Razer have anything to do with the teams on a day-to-day basis, or do you generally work as a ”behind-the-scenes beneficiary”?
Besides ensuring our teams are kitted out with our best products to ensure top performance, we are always speaking with our esports athletes, taking in feedback that are translated into our new products.
For example, the Razer Viper was field-tested by some of the world’s top esports athletes. Some of our Team Razer athletes were using prototypes of the Razer Viper in tournament matches for a year before it was launched. They shared their feedback with our production team and that was how we finetuned the mouse to be one of the best in the market today.
We also work with the teams daily to coordinate marketing activities and work with them to promote their efforts on our channels. We regularly feature our players on our websites and tell their personal stories.
How do you decide what new Esports to branch into? Do you have someone watching for the top up-and-coming teams and games?
Our Global Esports team members are always keeping an eye on up-and-coming talent and games, and we keep in close contact with our sponsored teams for their feedback on what’s happening in the scene.
As the sponsor of many big Esport teams such as Copenhagen Flames, Mousesports, and Evil Geniuses, what process do you use to decide what ORGs to support? Do they usually reach out to you or is it the other way around? In other words, what should a team do if they want to get the support of Team Razer?
We constantly work to enhance our leadership in esports across players and tournaments worldwide. The roster of Team Razer currently features 10 top esports organizations from all over the world, with some of the best athletes competing at the maximum level with the support of Razer’s professional-grade peripherals.
We are always ready to sign new champions, to bring excellence into the most important arenas around the world, and attract more and more fans.
Teams that we sponsor must have a commitment to excellence. They not only perform, but they also look to bring out the best in their players, make them better people, and better ambassadors of our brand.
They also must be aligned with our values. Razer has set forth on some very important health and environmental issues. We believe that the players we sponsor, and teams that we partner with should share these values and more.
Lastly, we look at their capabilities and how effective they are at amplifying our efforts. We evaluate their community and how well they engage them so that if we are to bring them on to the Team Razer family, we know that they can help communicate our own messages. At the end of the day, we hope our players love our products and brand as much as we do, and hope that they can clearly communicate the value they bring to their lives.