Galaxy Racer, the largest esports, gaming, and lifestyle organization in the world, teamed up with Tyronne Escalante Artist Management to establish its presence in the Philippines.
Esports, an organized competition using video games, is the fastest-growing segment of the entertainment industry, and Galaxy Racer believes that the Philippines and Southeast Asia provide large opportunities that have yet to be fully tapped.
“Esports is something we’re very keen on expanding with in Southeast Asia as we’ve established our roots in Europe at the moment. Like any other entertainment facet, sports needs digital innovation, and fans need to be engaged in better ways by molding both old and new together to add more value towards audience engagement,” Galaxy Racer Southeast Asia operations chief executive Mitch Esguerra says in an email interview.
“We’re already at the cusp of a new emerging future as our youth take over the region’s purchasing power, and with their more complex nature, both traditional and new-age businesses need to adapt, and adapt fast. With this, the future is shaping up to be extremely exciting with a lot of new innovative things coming from all fronts,” says Esguerra, formerly the managing partner of DreamFyre Group Inc., a startup gaming talent management agency.
The Philippines esports market has more than 43 million active gamers and has been growing by 12.9 percent annually since 2017. Galaxy Racer Philippines is investing in the country with plans to expand its engagement with competitive esports teams through sponsorships, tournaments and merchandise.
Galaxy Racer Philippines is led by country manager Marcia Guillermo, an experienced brand marketer with over 10 years of experience. “The esports and gaming market in the Philippines definitely shows vast potential, just based on the sheer number of esports audience, active gamers, and the projected growth of gamers at 12.9 percent annually,” she says.
The largest component of revenue for esports and gaming industry comes from sponsorship followed by advertising and media rights. As esports has a predominant digital distribution, brands utilize it as a medium to reach out to a different market segment, mainly the millennials and Generation Z who are highly tech-savvy and digitally advanced.
“Over the past years, we see non-endemic brands trying to enter and establish their presence in the gaming space by investing in advertising efforts or community-building platforms. As we see the lines blur between lifestyle and gaming, the overlaps have resulted in potential opportunities for Galaxy Racer and our stakeholders,” says Guillermo.
She says that considering how quickly Filipinos evolve in consuming content, “our plans will be focused on building partnerships that will help establish GXR’s credibility in lifestyle and gaming content production. We value forging relationships that will develop talents and provide opportunities, creating a positive impact on all facets of the industry and the community”.
“Currently, our plans for the Philippines would focus on our partnership with TEAM. This partnership is part of our efforts to further expand on our content creation pillar and through this partnership, TEAM and Galaxy Racer Philippines will mutually support each other’s rosters of content creators to create a new breed of talents,” she says.
TEAM is a talent agency that manages new, promising celebrities in the industry that have made a difference in film, television, advertising and entertainment. With the partnership, TEAM will support Galaxy Racer’s efforts by providing expertise in acting and training sessions for the gaming content creators, while Galaxy Racer serves as TEAM’s esports and gaming arm to guide film and entertainment artists in expanding their digital presence into the online gaming venturing into livestreaming games as a way to grow their influence to a wider audience, and solidifying their interaction with fans.
With its plan to lead the Southeast Asia region, Galaxy Racer Philippines is set to launch its own merchandise and music record label verticals this year—GXR Limited and GXR Records, respectively. GXR Limited will release a collaboration collection with Galaxy Racer’s exclusive content creators Kristine Satamena and Tukomi Twins. Meanwhile, GXR Records will kick off by collaborating with local producers to plan for the music release featuring other Galaxy Racer exclusive artists.
GXR is also looking at expanding to collegiate esports by producing grassroots leagues and programs that would support and develop student-athletes, and provide scholarship opportunities through esports.
“Overall, having created partnerships and engagements throughout the ecosystem will help us in our journey to being the world’s largest transmedia powerhouse for the digital-native audience across region,” says Guillermo.
Meanwhile, Esguerra says Galaxy Racer has been hard at work to build its foundations across the major markets of Southeast Asia. “This is primarily because we know and understand that Southeast Asia is a key emerging market with a strong youth population with a combination of Gen Zs and Millennials,” he says.
“Due to this controlling youth population within the regional scope of this consolidated market, Southeast Asia will be poised for substantial explosive growth in the coming years. Esports is not just about the tournaments and leagues, but more so affects other industry sectors heavily that contribute to economic growth through tourism, technology, infrastructure and many more,” he says.
Esguerra says advertising spend on influencer marketing is expected to grow substantially as the youth population go to their chosen influencers for purchase decision recommendations as trust and confidence is more established between them. This will potentially create in the long-term a stronger middle class population across Southeast Asia.
“The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam will be the key market drivers for the region in this regard, while all other Southeast Asian countries will reap the ripple effects of this as well,” he says.
“As this industry and all other industries involved with it, such as retail, music, sports, events, and video production will pave the way towards Southeast Asia’s complete digital revolution in the coming years,” says Esguerra.