fbpx
Connect with us

Tech

Why Immortals Gaming Club is turning the esports merch game on its head with its zero-profit strategy

Published

on

Why Immortals Gaming Club is turning the esports merch game on its head with its zero-profit strategy

September 14, 2021 by Alexander Lee

On September 9, Immortals Gaming Club announced the release of its latest merchandise line, Immortals Essentials. In a departure from the premium and high-priced merchandise strategy followed by some other esports organizations, the line is intentionally priced to generate zero profits for the Los-Angeles-based team. Immortals hopes to leverage this price reduction and other initiatives to help bring younger and less hardcore gamers into its fan base.

Going the zero-profit route has allowed Immortals to bring the prices of its Essentials line as low as $17.15 for hats and T-shirts, a reduction that the company believes will help younger esports fans more easily afford to rep the team. “The people who follow Immortals are young — many of them are in high school or college, or are just starting off,” said Immortals president and chief commercial officer Jordan Sherman. “That means two things: one, we’re going to have a long lifespan with them, hopefully, and two, maybe they’re just not in a position to buy a unit of clothes.”

That said, Merchandise is a core revenue stream for many esports organizations, one of the most visible ways for esports teams to set themselves apart from the competition. In 2021, total merchandise and ticket revenue in the esports industry is projected to exceed $66 million, a 13.8% increase year-over-year, according to Newzoo’s 2021 Gobal Esports & Live Streaming Market Report. “It’s the glue that holds the other traditional revenue streams together,” said Alex Romer, CEO of Immortals’ merchandising partner We Are Nations. 

The esports organization 100 Thieves, for example, essentially doubles as a streetwear company; its exclusive and time-limited merchandise “drops” often sell out within hours. This rarity commands premium prices: 100 Thieves hoodies currently go for $135 on the organization’s official store, with high-end collabs such as the recently announced 100 Thieves x Gucci backpack carrying an even higher $2,500 price tag. “There’s a lot of exclusivity within the esports space around merch — you know, exclusive drops. That kind of scarcity drives the prices up,” said Caroline Beall, Immortals’ director of partnership operations. “And that’s a good strategy, people definitely like that approach. I just think that on the opposite end of that spectrum, it’s obviously not accessible.”

This loss-leader strategy — that is, the sale of popular items at non-profitable prices to attract new customers — is a tried-and-true business move in other industries, such as fashion, technology and even the traditional gaming industry, where consoles are often considered loss-leaders. However, it is exceedingly uncommon in esports, where many companies are still trying to forge a path to probability. Immortals’ merchandising business was and is profitable, but Sherman made it clear that his company is not taking a literal loss on its zero-profit experiment: “it’s just flat,” he said.

A $17 T-shirt or hat might not seem like the determining factor behind an esports fan’s choice of team, but Romer’s time in the merchandising trenches of both esports and traditional sports has taught him that the average fan is relatively fickle, at least at the outset. “People laugh when I say that people have picked teams based on the first piece of merchandise they bought,” Romer said, “or based on the color — because they like the color, they buy the merchandise, and suddenly they start following the team.”

Immortals is in a position to take this gamble because each of the disparate business units that make up Immortals is currently cash-flow positive. “We’re making money in every single one of our teams, so we have this chance right now to actually invest and expand,” Sherman said. “At the same time, we need to kind of retell our brand narrative as more of a development angle, and really a comeback story.”

The strategy meshes well with other aspects of Immortals that highlight the team’s long-term outlook, such as its focus on developing and training its competitors in-house. Though the zero-profit-pricing strategy will almost certainly decrease Immortals’ revenues in the short term — profit margins for its merchandise previously hovered between 25% and 40%, according to Sherman, who declined to provide specific dollar amounts — its front office is confident that the strategy will draw in younger and more casual fans to expand its fan base and help the team generate higher profits driven by more active revenue streams such as sponsorships and media rights in the long run. “The fact that we’re willing to develop players and find people who are worth investing in and growing with is in line with that brand strategy,” Beall said. 

A veteran of the sports and esports merchandising industry, Romer works with some of the most well-known esports organizations in addition to his work with Immortals, including Astralis, G2 and Complexity Gaming. But he’s never seen anything quite like Immortals’ zero-profit strategy. “It’s unusual for an organization to say, ‘you know what, we’re not going to take any profit; we want it to be the most price-competitive that makes sense without causing issues for either the Immortals brand or the We Are Nations brand,’” Romer said.

“And we spent a lot of time looking at all of that. So, overall, it’s different. And if it hits its objective to pull fans in through merchandise, then it’s brilliant — it’s a masterstroke.”

https://digiday.com/?p=425675

Go to Source

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Tech

Leaked Alder Lake prices strike at Ryzen’s CPU dominance

Published

on

Leaked Alder Lake prices strike at Ryzen’s CPU dominance

Here’s what leaked retailer pricing tells us about the performance of Intel’s upcoming Alder Lake S CPUs.

6core vs 8core cpus

Intel / AMD / janniwet / Shutterstock

Today’s Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld’s Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect’s Editors

Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake processors aren’t upon us yet, but another price leak indicates they might indeed compete with AMD’s best CPUs, unlike current top-end Core offerings.

The latest oopsie comes from retail IT vendor Provantage, which puts the top-end Core i9-12900K at $605. The IT vendor also lists the Core i7-12700K at $420, as well as a Core i5-12600K for $283.

After news reports of the part numbers and prices surfaced, Provantage removed the listings. The latest leak follows reports two weeks ago—supposedly from European retailers—that placed the Core i9-12900K at $705, the Core i7-12700K at $495, and the Core i5-12600 at $343.

Before you jump to any conclusions, we want to point out that as reliable as a leaked retail price might seem, they can very unreliable too. Often times stores prep for impending launches by using placeholder prices and specs. Those listings are then updated when the stores receive the final information.

The leaked info itself from Provantage would indicate it’s not quite baked yet. For example, we know the top-end Alder Lake S chip will feature 8 performance cores and 8 efficient cores (Intel’s Alder Lake chips feature a radical new mixture of big and little cores), yet the listing at Provantage lists the top-end chip as an 8-core design. 

alder lake provantage Provantage via Hothardware.com

Hothardware.com snapped this image of Intel’s 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs at retailer Provantage. that has since been removed.

Still, both combined retail leaks reinforce what we’ve already come to conclude so far: Intel’s 12th-gen Alder Lake S will at least suit up with the intent to take on AMD’s 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X.

That’s a marked change from the $550 8-core 11th gen Rocket Lake CPU, which lost badly to AMD’s $550 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X chip. With the 11th-gen desktop chips, Intel didn’t even try to field a CPU against AMD’s $750 Ryzen 9 5950X.

With its increased core efficiency, newer manufacturing process, and physically more cores than previous Intel consumer desktop CPUs, it’s entirely possible Intel’s 12th Core i9 will actually end up being somewhere between $604 and $705 when it comes out.

intel alder lake performance core benchmark Intel

Intel is touting a marked increase in core efficiency with its 12th gen Alder Lake CPUs.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

One of founding fathers of hardcore tech reporting, Gordon has been covering PCs and components since 1998.

Go to Source

Continue Reading

Tech

The best Windows backup software

Published

on

The best Windows backup software

Updated

The best programs for keeping your data and Windows safely backed up.

Rob Schultz/IDG

Today’s Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld’s Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect’s Editors

Table of Contents

Show More

We need backup software for our PCs because our storage drives won’t last forever. Backup software ensures we’re covered when the day comes that our primary drive up and dies.

It would be nice if Microsoft itself provided Windows users with something like Apple’s Time Machine: an effective, set-it-and-forget-it, total system recovery and backup solution that requires little interaction or thought on the user’s part. 

Instead, Microsoft delivers a mishmash of restore points, recovery discs, file backup, and even the un-retired System Backup (Windows 7), which was probably originally put out to pasture for its propensity to choke on dissimilar hardware. Online backup services are another option, but desktop clients tend to offer far more flexibility. 

Plenty of vendors have stepped in with worthy alternatives, and while none are quite as slick or transparent as Time Machine, some come darn close—and many are free. Read on for our top picks. 

Updated on 9/15/21 to include our review of the newest version of Aomei Backupper 6. It remains our favorite free backup software for Windows because it provides a near-total backup solution, with a generous number of features. As a paid program, however, there are better options. Read more about it below. And scroll to the bottom of this article to see links to all our backup software reviews.

Best overall backup software

There’s a reason True Image is renowned in the world of backup software. It’s capable, flexible, and rock-solid reliable. Indeed, it’s easily the most comprehensive data safety package on the planet.

Besides offering unparalleled backup functionality that’s both robust and easy to navigate, True Image integrates security apps as well, which protect against malware, malicious websites, and other threats using real-time monitoring. Read our full review.

Best free backup software

Among the free programs we tested, Backupper Standard wins primarily because it has the most features, including imaging, file backup, disk cloning, and plain file syncing, plus multiple scheduling options (see our full review). This was the case with Backupper 4, and the latest version has only added more options, making it a surprisingly well-rounded free offering. We hit a few performance snags with less-conventional system setups, but for the average user, it should perform as expected.

What to look for in backup software

As with most things—don’t over-buy. Features you don’t need add complexity and may slow down your system. Additionally, if you intend to back up to a newly purchased external hard drive, check out the software that ships with it. Seagate, WD, and others provide backup utilities that are adequate for the average user.

File backup: If you want to back up only your data (operating systems and programs can be reinstalled, though it’s mildly time- and effort-consuming), a program that backs up just the files you select is a major time-saver. Some programs automatically select the appropriate files if you use the Windows library folders (Documents, Photos, Videos, etc.).

Image backup/Imaging: Images are byte-for-byte snapshots of your entire hard drive (normally without the empty sectors) or partition, and can be used to restore both the operating system and data. Imaging is the most convenient to restore in case of a system crash, and also ensures you don’t miss anything important.

Boot media:  Should your system crash completely, you need an alternate way to boot and run the recovery software. Any backup program should be able to create a bootable optical disc or USB thumb drive. Some will also create a restore partition on your hard drive, which can be used instead if the hard drive is still operational.

Scheduling: If you’re going to back up effectively, you need to do it on a regular basis. Any backup program worth its salt allows you to schedule backups.

Versioning: If you’re overwriting previous files, that’s not backup, it’s one-way syncing or mirroring. Any backup program you use should allow you to retain several previous backups, or with file backup, previous versions of the file. The better software will retain and cull older backups according to criteria you establish.

Optical support: Every backup program supports hard drives, but as obsolescent as they may seem, DVDs and Blu-Ray discs are great archive media. If you’re worried about optical media’s reliability, M-Disc claims its discs are reliable for a thousand years, claims that are backed up by Department of Defense testing.

Online support: An offsite copy of your data is a hedge against physical disasters such as flood, fire, and power surges. Online storage services are a great way to maintain an offsite copy of your data. Backup to Dropbox and the like is a nice feature to have.

FTP and SMB/AFP: Backing up to other computers or NAS boxes on your network or in remote locations (say, your parent’s house) is another way of physically safeguarding your data with an offsite, or at least physically discrete copy. FTP can be used for offsite, while SMB (Windows and most OS’s) and AFP (Apple) are good for other PCs or NAS on your local network.

Real time: Real-time backup means that files are backed up whenever they change, usually upon creation or save. It’s also called mirroring and is handy for keeping an immediately available copy of rapidly changing data sets. For less volatile data sets, the payoff doesn’t compensate for the drain on system resources. Instead, scheduling should be used.

Continuous backup: In this case, ‘continuous’ simply means backing up on a tight schedule, generally every 5 to 15 minutes, instead of every day or weekly. Use continuous backup for rapidly changing data sets where transfer rates are too slow, or computing power is too precious for real-time backup.

Performance: Most backups proceed in the background or during dead time, so performance isn’t a huge issue in the consumer space. However, if you’re backing up multiple machines or to multiple destinations, or dealing with very large data sets, speed is a consideration.

How we test

We run each program through the various types of backups it’s capable of. This is largely to test reliability and hardware compatibility, but we time two: an approximately 115GB system image (two partitions), and a roughly 50GB image created from a set of smaller files and folders. We then mount the images and test their integrity via the program’s restore functions. We also test the USB boot drives created by the programs.

All of our reviews

If you’d like to learn more about our top picks as well as other options, you can find links below to all of our backup software reviews. We’ll keep evaluating new programs and re-evaluating existing software on a regular basis, so be sure to check back for our current impressions.

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Jon is a Juilliard-trained musician, former x86/6800 programmer, and long-time (late 70s) computer enthusiast living in the San Francisco bay area. [email protected]

Go to Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Razer just made gamer thimbles

Published

on

Razer just made gamer thimbles

Or maybe they’re yoga pants for your thumbs?

Today’s Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld’s Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect’s Editors

Razer has never been afraid to take a shot on products that seem unusual at first glance. Witness its RGB-infused N95 mask, the now-defunct Razer Game Store with its own zVault currency, or the first-gen Firefly mousepad, which has evolved into something special but originally prompted us to review it against a ripped-up piece of cardboard. The company’s latest offering might just take the cake though. This week, Razer introduced gamer thimbles.

Yes, thimbles. You know, like the Monopoly piece (or the sewing accessory for more worldly folks out there). Seriously.

Well, not quite. If you simply can’t abide sweaty palms and greasy fingerprints interfering with your marathon mobile Fortnite sessions, the new Razer gaming finger sleeve may be up your alley. “Slip on and never slip up with Razer Gaming Finger Sleeve that will seal your mobile victory,” Razer’s site breathlessly boasts.  “Woven with high-sensitivity silver fiber for enhanced aim and control, our breathable sleeves keep your fingers deadly cool in the heat of battle, so you’ll always have a grip on the game.”

Razer says the 0.8mm-thick sleeves are sweat absorbent, and that they’re made from nylon and spandex. So maybe they’re more like gamer yoga pants? But you know, for your fingers?

Either way it’s ludicrous. And unlike most of Razer’s gear, the gamer thimbles understandably (yet sadly) lack RGB lighting. But if you want to wear your dedication to the Cult of Razer on your slee…thumb, or maybe just look snazzier when you’re passing Go and collecting $200, you can pick up a pair of Razer gaming finger sleeves on the company’s website for $10. The truly dedicated can double down to look especially gamer:

razer gamer thimbles 2 Razer

Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

Go to Source

Continue Reading
Home | Latest News | Tech | Why Immortals Gaming Club is turning the esports merch game on its head with its zero-profit strategy

Market

Trending