Advancing Esports 2023
Gaming, Technology, Coding, Education, and the Business of esports
The City of Glendale is hosting this one-day national conference for Gamers, Coders, Business Leaders, Developers and Companies supporting the continuing growth of the business of esports.
Esports is one of the fastest growing industries in the world.
Watched by millions, esport events and tournaments are top of the list for universities, classrooms, and business sponsorship across America.
This event provides in-depth insight into the esports audience, its benefits to business, the workforce pipeline and the economic impact of eSports to communities.
Advancing Esports Big Game 2023
Building a Gaming Hub in the West Valley
The Business of Esports
9:30 AM Part 1: New Frontiers in the Metaverse
10:20 AM Part 2: Building a Gaming Hub in the West Valley
11:05 AM Keynote: YouTube & Twitch, The Present and Future of Content
11:30 AM Lunch Networking (Sponsored)
12:15 PM The Opportunity for Brands in Esports & Gaming
Pitch Play Competition
1:15 PM Sponsored Keynote
1:30 PM Pitch Kick Off
1:40 PM Pitch Presentations
3:00 PM Award Announcements
3:15 PM Investor 1-on-1’s, Coaching
Meet the Speakers - Advancing Esports 2023
New Frontiers in the Metaverse
Brands like Puma, Mio, State Farm, Nike, Vans, and Hyundai have all created authentic brand experiences in either Roblox or Fortnite. While gaming leads the way in developing metaverse programs, brands in healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing are exploring applications of metaverse technology. In this session leaders from the ASU Learning Futures Collaboratory and from Gamefam, the leading Roblox and Fortnite game developer, will share their insights on the opportunities for brands to better serve consumers through the Metaverse.
Dan Munnerley is an expert in educational technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology transfer. He is the co-executive director and lead design architect for Next Generation Learning within the Chief Information Office. Prior to his position at ASU, Munnerley led transformational projects at Higher Education institutions and in the private sector in Australia, UAE, USA, and the UK. Additionally, he was an associate professor of education and design at the University of Canberra where his research included the application of augmented reality in education.
Matthew Zanazzo is an accomplished entrepreneur and game developer known for creating some of the most impactful gaming experiences in the metaverse. He is the founder of Catalyst Studios, one of the leading Fortnite: Creative studios responsible for successful collaborations with major brands such as Puma, Neymar Jr, Geoff Keigley, Twitch, Sony, Epic Games, and more. His work has generated over 500,000,000 plays across all activations. With his company sold to Gamefam, Matthew currently serves as VP, Head of Fortnite at Gamefam, leading the way in game development and brand integration inside Fortnite. He is also a high-level programmer within Fortnite Creative and runs multiple successful social media gaming channels.
Heather Haseley is an expert in educational technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology transfer. She is the co-executive director and lead design architect for Next Generation Learning within the Chief Information Office. Haseley has presented conferences and events around the world on learning innovation, immersive learning, digital credentials/skills development, learning design and program development. Before ASU, Heather served in leadership roles at UPenn, Northwestern, and Columbia University fostering innovation in learning through the creation of new centers, programs, communities of practice, and learning experiences.
Building a Gaming Hub in the Arizona West Valley
The video game industry is largely concentrated in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Austin Texas. Through the dedication of local leaders and gaming friendly civic policy. Atlanta and Dallas have cultivated and grown gaming related businesses in their own communities. In this session gaming leaders from Dallas, Atlanta and the valley share insights on how Glendale and the West Valley can build the West Valley gaming hub.
Todd Harris is an entrepreneur who has been leading video game and esports businesses for 15 years and involved with technology product startups for 25 years. Todd co-founded Hi-Rez Studios, one of the largest video game studios in the Southeast. He is currently the founder and CEO of Skillshot Media, the eading east-coast esports infrastructure and production company, and is co-Owner and CEO of Atlanta-based esports professional team Ghost Gaming. Todd also serves as the Chairman of both the the North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF), and the Atlanta Esports Alliance.
Scott “Sir Scoots” Smith has had a long and storied career in gaming and esports. He was a founder of GotFragTV, and an owner and COO of team, Evil Geniuses, and currently acts as an advisor to the Counter-Strike Professional Players’ Association; the first independent player association in esports. Host, broadcast analyst, life-long gamer with over 20 years of esports experience, Scott is one of the most iconic faces of the industry and as such earned a well-deserved place in the Esports Awards Lifetime Achievement Class of 2019.
Zack "The Maker" Buzard, an active duty Airman from Phoenix, Arizona, has been in the military for 10 years and owns two businesses that specialize in creating various items such as challenge coins and metal wall art. He also was selected to run the spark cell at Luke Air Force Base, where he focuses on innovation and creation, including setting up the first ever AF gaming charter at the base. Zack facilitates gaming activities for the base's airmen, although he admits he is not as skilled as the younger gamers he works with. He values the importance of embracing the gaming culture in the modern world.
Ken Mattern is a Cybersecurity Instructor at Cactus High in the Peoria Unified School District who has been recognized as an innovator. In addition to his work as an instructor in various subjects, he has also led the Esports team to several key wins and grant awards as the team's head coach. Mattern has also been a presenter at local, state, and national conferences on topics related to college education funding, business, marketing, entrepreneurship, computer science, and cybersecurity. He has held past board positions with various organizations and was inducted into the Phoenix College Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 2009.
Ron Babich is CEO and Chair of the non-profit West Valley Innovation Alliance. The founder of MobileLogix, AgileField, Co-Founder Hard Dollar, InEight, MSI, and Monet eCommerce. Ron was awarded the inaugural Marketer of the Year Award from American Marketing Association in 2012 and 2013. Originating in 1996, Treasure Box games pioneered early online game distribution and commerce in with popular award winning titles Myst, 7th Guest, Bernstein Bears and others popular game titles. WVIA is dedicated to assisting startups, entrepreneurs and raising capital, funding over 22 companies since 2017.
YouTube & Twitch; The Present and Future of Content
The live streaming and video on demand industry is changing how Gen Z consumes content. Today, more than 81,000 streamers will be hosting live streams concurrently on Twitch, with their videos being viewed by 2.2 million viewers each day. YouTube has more than 1.7 billion unique viewers each day. The low cost and availability of these video on demand and live streaming platforms are redefining how viewers consume media.
Travis Gafford started his career as a staple of the League of Legends community, hosting the popular show, State of the League, while delivering best-in-class analysis of the most popular esport in the world. Continuing in his coverage of the game as the lead CBS Interactive broadcaster, and then later as the voice of Yahoo! Esports, Travis became and independent creator of 2018 and has since cemented himself as the one-man-does-it-all League of Legends news force, driving the competitive narrative and creating interest pieces consumed by League's most ardent fans.
The Opportunity for Brands in Esports & Gaming
Approximately all revenue generated by the esports industry comes in the form of sponsorship from both endemic and non-endemic brands. Until such time as media rights become a lucrative revenue stream, the esports industry will remain reliant on those brands looking to reach young consumers through their passion for gaming and esports. But what’s in it for brands and how are they using gaming broadly, and esports more narrowly to reach Gen Z?
Adam Rosen is the Founder and CEO of Rally Cry. He has been a leader in esports for over a decade. Adam cofounded Tespa in 2010, which has grown into the world's largest collegiate esports network. After Tespa was acquired in 2013, he spent the following 6 years at Blizzard, where he co-led global business strategy and operations for Blizzard Esports and also spearheaded many industry-defining projects like Heroes of the Dorm, BlizzCon, Fireside Gatherings, and Blizzard Arena. Rally Cry operates esports leagues and events for the NFL, U.S. Air Force, NBC Universal, Riot Games, and Learfield/IMG among others.
Interested in pitching your product, company, or idea? Join the afternoon pitch competition for prizes, investor meet ups, and coaching.