Jill Downey catches up with Jordan Udko
16 min listen.
In this podcast I spoke with Jordan Udko, the Executive Vice President of Commercial Partnerships for Cloud9 Esports inc.
Jordan joined Cloud9 relatively recently in 2017 but has already had tremendous success in bringing in partners such as Microsoft, AT&T, BMW and PUMA. He previously worked for ESPN and Paramount.
We spoke about Jordan’s background as a storyteller, the best ways for a brand to leverage an eSports sponsorship and the unique access eSports fans have to the talent in the industry. We also discussed some macro challenges for the nascent eSports industry and the enormous potential for growth thanks to a changing perception of eSports’ fanbase.
Jordan spoke about how his talent and passion for storytelling, rather than a love of video games, led him to being involved with Cloud9.
Previous roles with ESPN and Paramount, as well as work brand-side in expansion into new markets, gave Jordan the skills to thrive in the challenge of joining a growing brand and industry in Cloud9.
Challenges facing eSports
We discussed the challenges facing eSports as an industry, including solving the over-reliance on sponsorship revenue by developing commercial revenue streams such as broadcast rights and merchandise.
Jordan also outlined how brands can really leverage esports sponsorships without alienating fans with inauthentic activations.
He outlined that in an industry as nascent as eSports, there is so much growth potential that it is hard to nail down just one or two key trends.
He also identified the changing perception of eSports fans, from kids living in their parents’ house to young, affluent consumers for the future, as being absolutely key in attracting high-profile, non-endemic brands to the industry.
Jordan praised the move towards a more inclusive, gender balanced industry, both amongst talent and fans.