We recently posted this piece questioning, when it's so brand savvy about everything else and can sniff out the chance to make money quicker than a Lady of the Night can when a Navy ship moors into port, why isn't there already an eSports Premier League?
Simon Chadwick PhD saw the post on Twitter and shared it. I asked what he thought. Seeing as he's an actual Professor, I wondered whether he thought the question had merit or if I was talking a load of -.
He agreed to talk more at length about the subject. And here's what he had to say.
IBWM: Can you tell readers what you lecture on and what's your background?
Simon: Nowadays, I am more a researcher, writer, advisor and consultant than I am a lecturer. Following my Economics degree, I started out as a teacher and then, via a Masters degree and my PhD (on football shirt sponsorship), I ended-up in universities.
Over the last decade, I have become increasingly focused on working with external partners, most notably in football. My subject specialisms started with economics, then I moved into strategy, and after that into marketing.
However, my work in Asia has led me more and more into thinking about globalisation, geopolitics and soft power. As a result, my lectures and seminars are always a diverse mix of disciplines, with elements of music, films and North East humour thrown in for good measure.
What caught your interest with our original post?
ESports is an emerging field, although the pace of change seems to have considerably strengthened in recent months. This is significant and serious. People like me need to know about esport, and we have to begin thinking about what happens next and what the implications will be.
As you may have seen, I regularly tweet about esports and am keen to stay in tune with them as new developments emerge.
Did you see the explosion in esports coming? Is so, when?
As someone who remembers back to the days of Space Invaders and Pac Man, I must confess that I didn't see it coming. However, over the last two years, principally because of my millennial consumer son, I have really begun to appreciate and understand the immense possibilities associated with esport. And when Manchester City signed an esport professional last year, I suddenly realised 'you really DO need to start paying attention.'
What esport content is there on your courses at the University?
There is currently none, although we are planning a new Masters programme in which there will be an esports module.
Have you seen a change in student attitudes towards the relationship between online and real life?
Way back when, academics would get irritated that a student would be looking at their mobile devices. Now, if students aren't looking at their mobile devices during a class, I am thinking 'why?'. Online learning environments, social media and other virtual experiences are now such an important part of life, and indeed of student experience, that it's almost as though we don't even see or think about them any more.
Are you into gaming?
Playing? No. Watching, thinking, understanding? Yes, absolutely.
And, lastly, where can we follow more of your thinking and writing?
That'd be great. My twitter is @Prof_Chadwick, I write about football in China here and the Gulf here. Oh, and your readers might enjoy The Scorecard.