ECA News

ECA is pleased to announce the publication of its report, esports – curse or blessing for football clubs?, which looks at the opportunities and threats for clubs venturing into the esports and eFootball arena.

The esports success stories are well known: the rapidly growing number of gamers and esports enthusiasts who represent a young, digital and highly attractive target group for both brands and rightsholders; the entry of major non-traditional brands into the market as sponsors or strategic investors; the expanding media coverage and the rise of new platforms; and the increasing number of large-scale events.

While sports have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, the same cannot be said for esports. The industry has demonstrated its full potential with the unique ability to connect people globally online - an opportunity that has captured the interest of the sports industry over recent years, leading to significant investment and growing club activities in this space.

This report deep dives into the world of esports, with a particular focus on eFootball, in order to answer the fundamental question of whether esports is a curse or blessing for football clubs. Bringing in an array of research and data, the report seeks to provide an in-depth overview of the eFootball landscape and act as a go-to guide for clubs.

“Esports is an intriguing and attractive proposition for football clubs as it is the rising star in the sports and entertainment world and – critically – provides the opportunity to engage with new generations of fans,” said ECA CEO, Charlie Marshall, “However, there is still an inconsistent understanding of esports across the traditional sports industry, which has led to false expectations and misjudgements when investing in and engaging in this space. An imbalance of representation and a good degree of fragmentation exists and we want to enable clubs to come together to take progressive, well-informed decisions which maximise the value of their IP rights and fan engagement.”

Lasse Wolter, ECA Director of Membership & Business Development, added “we want to initiate a broader discussion on esports and eFootball within European club football and help create and safeguard value for our member clubs and the wider ecosystem. As the representative body of 246 clubs across the continent, we have the unique ability to facilitate knowledge sharing on the topic and foster the required transparency and alignment.”