Hi everybody, I’m Brian Clapp Director of Content for WorkinSports.com and this is the Work in Sports podcast.
Everybody wants to talk about eSports. And that makes sense, it’s the current rage.
As I like to do here is some perspective:
In 2016 Worldwide revenue for esports was 493 million dollars – nothing to sneeze at.
By 2020 – projections have it as an over 1 billion dollar a year industry. That is crazy growth but to put some numbers rather than just adjectives behind that… that’s a compound annual growth rate of 32%.
Here’s the deal, I don’t get it, but I don’t have to, the fact is it’s growing incredibly in popularity and is a huige growth sector in the sports world.
To be honest, esports kind of reminds me of going to Atlantic City casinos while I was in college. I’d spend hours there, playing blackjack with my friends, often losing money… but we’d get there at 11pm, and leave at 7am the next morning.
You’d be in this dark enclave, pumped with oxygen to help you keep awake, bright lights and neon everywhere, sencory overload in many ways… then all of a sudden you’d walk outside and be like “what just happened to the last 8 hours?!”
Of NFL Sundays at a sports bar… it could be a beautiful day outside, but you’d enter some dark sports bar at noon, spend hours and hours there, watching eating and drinking and then when you finally left it was like you were entering a foreign world…like, where the heck am I?
That’s what I see when I see eSports events. But again, I don’t have to get it, to respect it and see it as a growth sector of the industry, and I know many of you are passionate and interested in it.
But there are concerns.
The World Health Organization just classified “Gaming Disorder” as a mental health condition. I’ve heard parents call it “digital heroin”.
In a statement Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse said there are three major diagnostic features or characteristics of gaming disorder.
"One is that the gaming behavior takes precedence over other activities to the extent that other activities are taken to the periphery," he said.
The second feature is "impaired control of these behaviors," Poznyak said. "Even when the negative consequences occur, this behavior continues or escalates." A diagnosis of gaming disorder, then, means that a "persistent or recurrent" behavior pattern of "sufficient severity" has emerged.
A third feature is that the condition leads to significant distress and impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning, Poznyak said. The impact is real, he said, and may include "disturbed sleep patterns, like diet problems, like a deficiency in the physical activity."
Overall, the main characteristics are "very similar" to the diagnostic features of substance use disorders and gambling disorder, he said. For a diagnosis to be made, the negative pattern of behavior must last at least 12 months: "It cannot be just an episode of few hours or few days.
So now let’s flip this into a conversation about the issue at hand.
You are all people who want to work in the sports industry, and it is imperative for you to be creative, free-thinking, communicators.
I’m not here to tell you video games are bad!
I am here to tell you, you need to manage yourself and your creativity, because those are the elements that will lead to dutiful employment.
Creativity shows itself in all sports jobs, not just marketing. In sales, you need to be a creative communicator, fast on your feet and comfortable in public environments. In operations, you need to be able to creatively solve business problems. In scouting, coaching, agency – the creative parallels are obvious.
Deandra Duggans, Baltimore Ravens Manager of Advertising and Branding says to get inspiration on campaigns and fresh ideas, she walks outside, listens and observes.
Randy Just, our director of Customer Service, says he tells people all the time when they are stuck on something to get outside, take a walk, go for a hike.
You need to be able to detach.
Here are a few other ways to tap into your creativity, things I like to do personally and endorse:
1: I meditate every morning. 10 minutes before I start my day, quiet reflection. I don’t think about what is ahead, or the myriad of things I have to accomplish. I just try to find some peace.
2: After I meditate I play some music that I deem inspirational – for this week I have lined up Rocky music, One by Metallica, Iron Man by Black Sabbath, Everything is Awesome from the Lego movie,
3: I take a break 10 minutes of every hour. I don’t work 60 minutes straight, I work 50, take a moment, then come back to my desk. Breaking up my day this way helps. I have a huge organic vegetable garden, I probably havent’’ shared this but I have a dream of being able to produce all of my own food for our family… and I’ll just take a quick walk through there during the day, it helps me get centered and feel alive. Find that place for you.
4: I stretch – twice a day during my 10 minute break, I’ll get up and do some stretches. It awakens my body and mind.
The key here is, there are traps in life, things that will grab you and take hold and you know what they do, they affect every part of your existence. I’ve watched friends become addicted to alcohol, drugs, gambling you name it.
eSports is another one – video games are addictive, it’s a proven fact. But other than just withdrawing you from your everyday, they can sap your energy and your creativity, which will stall your career.
Stop producing in a creative way, and you won’t get hired, you won’t get promotions, you won’t be dependable.
That’s the future you have to look forward to if you don’t get your demons under control.
I’m not perfect, I’ve had demons, so trust me this is not from a preachy place, for the 6 months I’ve been doing this podcats I’ve gotten to know many of you and I want to help see you succeed.
Keep balance in your life and do things to stimulate, not dampen your creativity.
That’s it for this episode – coming up later this week on Wednesday Karl Keating Nike Brand Manager at the House of Hoops!
See you guys then!