In the world of professional sports, each team is its own brand. Whether we’re talking about the Minnesota Twins, the Utah Jazz, or England’s Arsenal F.C., all of these teams have the logo, the mascot, the merch, the fans, and the infrastructure to keep building each pillar. And what all that provides for the team is a greater community and fan base, a story, and a lot of funding. Well, esports is no different. When you think of Team Liquid, Fnatic, and Astralis, you can probably picture their logos and jerseys and name their best players. You might even be a fan of one or all of them! What’s behind this is branding.
There’s no reason varsity esports teams can’t have strong branding, too. With the costs of supporting teams, having a strong brand not only helps build the team momentum but on a practical level, it also helps offset those costs.
So, how do you build that brand?
Suit up: Get your team uniforms.
Before you can have any other form of merchandise, you must have uniforms. They provide the basis from which all other merch can be derived, because as we discussed in this post, uniforms give the team identity. The team becomes associated with their colors, their mascot, and the logo and numbers on their uniforms. They can be easily identified as a group and as individual players, and fans and spectators can express their enthusiasm by wearing similar colors or sporting fan jerseys of their own. The uniforms make it clear who’s who and give a unified front for everyone—both team members and fans—to rally behind.
Build out: Create a line of team-branded gear and merchandise.
As we said, the uniforms provide the basis for all other merch. So, once you have the uniforms, you can create so many other products that all help further the team’s visible reach and support from fans—a.k.a. team spirit! With team-branded gear, players can wear their camaraderie on their sleeve, hands, and headsets. With branded apparel and other merchandise, their fans can join them. And the financial incentive is real—the more gear you have, the more you can sell and the more money you can make for your team.
Sell wide: Make your products and merch available through eCommerce.
Speaking of selling, once you have your branded product line, you need a place to sell it. The best place to do that these days? An e-commerce platform. E-commerce allows you to sell directly to your fans, and with a specialized shop for your team, no other products need to be featured. All eyes—and wallets—are on your merch.
Pair up: Partner with Ritual Motion to become a Team Affiliate.
We recommend giving your team Affiliate status with Ritual Motion for an added fundraising boost. Affiliates wear some amount of branded Ritual Motion gear (along with their own, of course!) and help spread the word about Ritual Motion through their own channels. In return, they receive a percentage of sales and gain exclusive access to special Ritual Motion deals and products.
In fact, even beyond our Team Affiliate program, Ritual Motion has another whole program dedicated to helping varsity teams get their brand off the ground. Ritual Motion Varsity works with high school and college esports teams and leagues to outfit their teams and turn their brands into their own product lines and e-commerce platforms, selling things like team uniforms, fan apparel, and other wellness gear.
Are you ready to take your team’s brand and fundraising to the next level? We can’t wait to help.