Whilst running Augmented Authority, we have been involved in a lot of negotiations – from hiring artists ad hoc, talking with potential sponsors, to picking up and supporting the right teams.
When we started the business, we had very little experience and during our time in charge, we admittedly haven’t always got these negotiations right. Our philosophy has been to not let fear rule us, to trust in our abilities, doing everything we can ourselves and only taking opportunities/risks we can financially manage.
It has taken time to develop, but we are now reliably able to spot and use talented artists at good prices. Honestly, shop around, read their profiles and get quotes from several people if possible. Make it very easy for them to understand what you want and they will be able to provide an accurate fixed price estimate as you reduce the risk they take by accepting your job.
We are still developing relationships with our partners and sponsors but are starting to see a flurry of activity. We are hoping to announce more associates soon and whilst I won’t be revealing details of the arrangement, we have stuck to our philosophy of only engaging with sponsors who are willing to provide meaningful support to the organisation. We have been approached by several companies, who would only offer percentage discounts off their stock. Whilst we know other Esports organisations accept this, we won’t invest our time and money into advertising a company for free; it should be a two-way street. If someone believes in us, we are delighted to talk with and work with them, doing everything we can to build the relationship.
Our viewpoint has caused friction with some of our players who want the ‘prestige’ of having sponsor names on their shirts, even though it would actually detract from the amount of support we would be able to give them – it costs money to get the logos on the shirts!
Unfortunately, we have found the scene to be full of players with this attitude, who don’t stick around and are the ones most unable to build a reputation worthy of meaningful sponsorship. We have seen the positives of our philosophy and will stick to it, providing the best support to those teams who are willing to stick and work with us.
At the beginning of this year, both our CSGO Nordic and Overwatch teams were poached. It comes with the territory that once you see any modicum of success, other organisations will start promising the world to your teams, with fake sponsorships and smear campaigns against you as organisation owners. This puts us in a difficult position because even though we have always fulfilled our promises, we can’t compete with the stuff these people make up. It only takes one player’s head to be turned for them to poison the rest of the team against you.
It can be a big blow to lose your teams, but these kinds of players are not the ones we want to support and the money they demanded was not justified by their ability. It is a hard judgement call to make, but we have the personal experience at the top tier of gaming to know who won’t make it. We therefore made no attempt to hold onto them and have been rewarded in style. One team got embarrassed 0-6 in the group stage of a LAN they wanted excessive support for and one of the others now find themselves completely unsupported as they discovered the lies told to them. We however, found it relatively easy to pickup equivalent skilled teams as our reputation as an organisation has grown. We are now well placed for the LANs coming up over the next couple of months, hoping to add to our trophy haul, and are working on some big projects behind the scenes.
Who said running an Esports organisation was easy?