Gamers Change Lives

Tom Leonard

Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that?

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Season Two Trailer: ”Follow the Money”
Sep 6 2022
Season Two Trailer: ”Follow the Money”
The Gamers Change Lives Podcast Season Two: “Follow the Money” Do you have big goals for your esports team, or tournament, or enterprise? I’ll bet the answer is a big “YES!” We are gamers, right? We know what thinking big and winning feels like. But the one thing holding us back from reaching our goals is money. There is never enough investment to start out or grow our business. We don’t have enough money to send our team across the world, or even across town. And there is never enough to be able to pay for that spectacular venue we see in our dreams for our next tournament. Or sometimes to pay out the tournament prizes. Why does this happen more often than not? In Season One of the Gamers Change Lives Podcast we spoke with so many successful esports entrepreneurs and others and the one common theme we learned from them all is that it takes money to make things happen. It takes money to create jobs. And to change lives. But let’s face it money can be hard to find, especially in some parts of the world, maybe in your part of the world. Season Two of the Gamers Change Lives Podcast is titled “Follow the Money”. We know that there are plenty of sources of money out there. They exist in every part of the world, including yours. Trust me on this. Many of the people controlling investments and sponsorship don’t know about esports. They think of esports as their son or daughter playing Fortnite, or FIFA, or COD. They don’t think of esports as an opportunity for smart business deals. Not yet anyway. Who is going to tell them? You are. And in Season Two we are going to help you do just that. No, we are not going to be handing out money in Season Two. Instead, we are offering something much more valuable, the stories of others who have done exactly what you want to do. “Finding funding in esports is not rocket science. It is learning where to look, what to say, and how to close deals all from people who have done it before.” Join Us Join us on our journey in Season Two of the Gamers Change Lives Podcast: “Follow the Money”. Subscribe today and be the first to hear of our new season and to hit the ground running on changing your esports adventure forever. Episode Webpage:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginal Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Community Initiative and Sponsorship Tactics
2d ago
Community Initiative and Sponsorship Tactics
We have two guests today: Kieran Sanford. Co-Founder of ForG4MERSake in London, and Baba Dioum, the Manager SOLO Esport in Dakar Senegal. Our discussion included: How Kieran and Baba each came to esports from different paths. They each talk briefly about the state of esports in their home countries, the UK and Senegal. Baba was recently invited to an esports conference hosted by the Royal Federation of Esports in Morocco in Casablanca. He describes how Morocco is working on the development of esports both in their country and across Africa including highlighting Rabat as “The City of Gaming”. Kieran, one of the founders of ForG4ERSSake, describes the mission of the organization – “Bringing the Community Together for Gaming” – and how it got started. There was a need for a hub to help get young people off the streets. The organization does just that through events, teams, and venues. Their focus is on how gaming can create career opportunities in more than just content creation. ForG4MERSSake has developed partnerships with many organizations to help them on their quest, including Barclays. He provides his approach to securing sponsors which revolves around getting out there and talking with everyone. ” Just try to go for it.  And do as much as you can to reach out to people. You’re not going to go anywhere just standing there and not trying to be proactive in the market. Just be out there and try to echo your story.” Baba relates how his organization and approach in Senegal has done much of the same thing, showing that gaming can be a positive influence in many parts of the world. Baba also talks about his organization SOLO Esport and how they learned that to create a true business it is important to look for different business models to be successful. Both Kieran and Baba talk about the challenges that esports can face when working with audiences who speak different languages. Next Kieran talks about how his organization works with influencers. Content creation can be a very lonely place to be. They manage most aspects of the streamer’s career so they can focus on what they do best: create content. Baba relates the ongoing sponsorship journey for SOLO Esport, including how funding can come from various sources such as banks and the governments of France and Senegal. And both weigh in on the question of whether the Olympics should include esports in their program in the future.   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Kieran Sanford Co-Founder of 4Sake an influencer management agency primarily within gaming & esports. Managing a range of influencers including streamers, content creators & professional esports players. 4Sake also have a community arm that they’re heavily focused in called “ForG4MERSake” which do events & workshops to help educate to young people on the industry and the viable career pathways & opportunities within it. LinkedIn:  kieran@4sake-esports.com Twitter: Dioum A passionate gamer and a believer in esports, I am the Co-Founder of Solo Esport – the first professional esport club in West Africa and the President of the SENGAMES Association. I've been in the African esport scene since 2010, working to place Africa on the esports world map. I have in the last 12 years travelled to many countries, building connections, and collaborating with other esport associations and institutes. My goal is to build the best esport team in Africa through Solo Esport by helping young talents reach their full potential and make their mark in the international scene. With Sengames, I want to establish the best esport events in Africa, in collaboration with other eSport actors. Esport is big opportunity and can be a great as tool for education and social change. LinkedIn:  baba.dioum@soloesport.sn SOLO Esport: Royal Federation of Esport in Morocco:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. This is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of esports entrepreneurs and others to learn how they solved a particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. In Season Two our theme is “Follow the Money”. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Connecting Brands with Gen Z Through Esports
Nov 19 2022
Connecting Brands with Gen Z Through Esports
Our guest is Tushaar Garg from India. He is the Founder and CEO @StreamO as well as the Founder and CEO of Irony Esports. Our discussion included: Tushaar talks about how large the market is in India, for those playing and those watching video games. Note: it is huge! From his beginning as a championship tennis player, Tushaar worked in traditional sports with the IPL – the Indian Premier League Cricket. When the pandemic hit, he decided to become an entrepreneur and to explore what the opportunities in esports would bring. There are a lot of similarities – and differences – between traditional sport and esports. Tushaar describes how esports can learn from sports in how to become better at monetization. Tushaar founded, and is now the CEO of StreamO, India’s first livestream sponsorship marketplace. They work at the intersection of the passion economy, live streaming, video gaming, and superfans. As we learn, the younger audience today is consuming live-streaming entertainment content which is more intimate and engaging. As he points out, ‘Strangers are our new best friends’. StreamO focuses on opening opportunities for brands to access Gen Z, which can be notoriously difficult. In India, Gen Z makes up 27% of the population with a total of over 375 million individuals. 200 million of that group are active on YouTube. YouTube Is the biggest gaming platform, with some competition from Twitch and Facebook Gaming playing catch up. Tushaar and the group at StreamO have a twin-fold solution. First creating an opportunity for content creators to earn 10x to 20x that being paid out by Google. And second working with brands who want to attract the Gen Z audience. They realize that communicating with Gen Z needs a very different approach. They bring their 5,000+ creators and 100 million subscribers to many of the largest global brands. This is especially powerful as many brands are interested in the huge Indian market, but do not always know the best way to enter. For content creators, StreamO creates a community for them to learn from each other, providing a model of user generated content and networking. For brands there are four types of gaming which includes competitive gaming (esports). He is especially proud of their work with Intel Gamer Day. What are brands looking for? He explains that in addition to a basic understanding of the industry, they want to know more about gaming, talent, and tournaments. The brands are also looking for ways to create content in the vernacular – allowing them to reach a much wider audience in a society with so many different languages. Tushaar and his team launched Stranger Things for Netflix in India. As he describes it, “We got so many messages from young people who just want to show their parents that playing video games is not a waste of time. And that they can actually make money from a brand like Netflix.” We wrap up the conversation with Tushaar explaining his answer to the question of whether the Olympics should include esports in their program.   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Tushaar Garg is the Founder CEO of StreamO, an award-winning creator economy start-up that connects brands with the notoriously hard to reach Gen Z audiences via a new breed of creators (half-athlete - half influencer) who specifically livestream long-form video content to their loyal fans and friends across YouTube Live and Twitch. StreamO’s clients include Netflix, Amazon Prime, MX Player, One Plus, Crocs, Fastrack, Sony Play Station, Intel, Spotify, and Dell Alienware amongst others. Previously, Tushaar has been involved with market-maker start-ups in India that have become benchmarks in their respective fields. In Cricket, he was involved as a founding member in the conceptualization and commercialization of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Tushaar also commercialized India's only ATP Tennis event, and India's first fashion event - the Lakme Fashion Week. In digital health, he led growth for Stepathlon, an award winning global “Virtual Race” platform that combines social participation, health and wellness to engage both sports fan communities and corporate employees with an inclusive engagement, mass participation and well-being experience. In esports, Tushaar led monetization for U Cypher - India’s first esports league made-for-TV. He also grew the U Mumba Kabaddi franchise into a multi-sport IP with teams in esports, football, volleyball, and table-tennis. He is a Tennis Player, Tri-athlete, Trekker and a FIFA Masters and Shri Ram College of Commerce alum. LinkedIn:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. This is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of esports entrepreneurs and others to learn how they solved a particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. In Season Two our theme is “Follow the Money”. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Esports Growth Strategies, Education, and Events
Nov 12 2022
Esports Growth Strategies, Education, and Events
Our guest is Frank Sliwka, Global Esports, Gaming & Digital Entertainment Opinion Leader, Keynote Speaker, COO, and Hon. Professor from Singapore. Our discussion included: Frank’s introduction to esports while watching the excitement of gamers, bringing them to one of the largest consumer electronics shows in Europe. “I saw these kids playing competitive gaming – what are they doing? It’s so fantastic what they are doing. If I bring them to this show (the consumer electronics show), then I have the games industry.” The impact of gaming on the PC industry as a whole. Advice on how someone interested in turning their passion for esports into a business: Solid business planProven market for your business through researchGet real world experience in existing, bigger esports companies or brands that are working in esports, that is a good way to learnSupport the community of esports The value of community in esports and especially for esports entrepreneurs. The difference between gaming and traditional sports. “If you have a broadcast on a traditional TV platform, you have 1 out of 10 viewers who watch golf play golf. If you have games, you have a huge difference, it’s 10 out of 10. So, what we know if that everyone who is watching games is playing games. And everyone who is playing games is watch games.” Growth strategies and how it depends on what sector of esports you are in. The value of education. Educating brands and parents. “In core gaming there may be a lack of knowledge. That is why education is important. “ The importance of bringing in outside talent to esports and gaming. The role of government in various countries in developing esports. And as always, a conversation on the variety of job opportunities that are a part of the esports industry. Frank talks about the importance of data: how to acquire it and how to use it. Events: They are important for all esports entrepreneurs, and those wanting to join the industry. Tips on networking in the industry. “If there is not an event in your region, create one.” How mobile is changing esports, particularly in the region of Southeast Asia. Should the Olympics include esports in their official program? Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Frank A. Sliwka: A highly innovative and resilient global business leader with deep digital entertainment, games & esports industry expertise, gained from over 25 years’ building successful businesses and winning teams around entertainment properties. LinkedIn:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. This is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of esports entrepreneurs and others to learn how they solved a particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. In Season Two our theme is “Follow the Money”. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Creating the Ultimate Venue for Games Culture
Nov 5 2022
Creating the Ultimate Venue for Games Culture
Our guest is Jon Satterley from Melbourne Australia. He is CEO & Co-Founder at Fortress Australia. Our discussion included: How a passion for heavy metal music and the world of entertainment led to the creation of a cathedral to games culture. Jon’s career spanning music, entertainment, and video games, including the value of spending 3 years cleaning toilets. How Jon took his experience as Chief Digital Officer at Village Roadshow to work on creating his games culture enterprise. And decided to create his own opportunity to include his passions in life. How the arcade experience from the 1980’s could be brought back to life in a modern setting. Creating Fortress Australia - ‘We are Australia’s number one games culture company.’ Why can’t esports support a venue on its own? First, the role of the publishers who constrain an organization to scale to a massive size. Second, the limitations of size for most markets, including Australia. And third, you have a business model that is at the whims of players that you have little control over. That makes it hard to find investors. The role of publishers in creating a gaming venue – how to make it work for both parties. Other sources of revenue that are necessary to make it all work, especially with significant investors. “We build cathedrals for gamers.” And epic, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, walk in and have your head torn off.  People are immersed in their culture. And so, they spend money. The cost of creating venues of this proportion. The future of Fortress Australia. How to draft off of other events, both local and international. The Olympics – should they include esports in their official program? How traditional sports impact the approach to esports. Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Jon has been part of the entertainment industry for 30+ years, managing bands, building record companies, creating strategies for theme parks, and advising cinemas and distribution companies at the most senior level. Jon established Roadrunner Records in Australia (the world's biggest metal record company) in the nineties and was subsequently promoted to Senior VP of Digital and moved to NYC for 5 years as part of the Warner Music Group. In 2018 Jon decided that gaming - his life passion (well…. that and metal) - was the place he wanted to be. Jon partnered with Adrian Giles, a renowned tech entrepreneur, to found Fortress Australia…with the aim to create the ultimate "Home of Games". Fortress is now Australia's #1 games culture company. Jon holds a BA/LLB (Hons) from Uni of Melb and an MBA from Melbourne Business School. LinkedIn:  jon@fortressesports.com Website:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. This is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of esports entrepreneurs and others to learn how they solved a particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. In Season Two our theme is “Follow the Money”. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
A Deep Dive into Esports Sponsorship
Oct 29 2022
A Deep Dive into Esports Sponsorship
Our guest is Malph Minns from the UK. He is Managing Director at Strive Sponsorship. Our discussion included: The difference between esports sponsorship and that of traditional sports and other entertainment industries based on Malph’ s extensive experience over the years. The importance of knowing your industry, knowing your audience, knowing your fan base. Is there such a thing as a typical esports sponsor? The value of the industry information provided on the Strive Sponsorship website at: benefits and limitations of bringing staff from traditional sport into esports. How to reach a female audience – and it isn’t by just creating an all-female team. The difference between ‘rights holders’ and ‘brands’. How esports is actually an entertainment product. Advertising vs. sponsorship: what are the differences, and where the largest budgets are held. The value of understanding the role agencies play in securing advertising and sponsorship revenues. And the best part of the discussion: What’s the best way to find a sponsor? Malph details the process including what the best approach is to land a successful deal. The importance of understanding budgeting cycles. Should the Olympics include esports? Listen to how Malph and his organization worked with Team Scotland on the recent Commonwealth Games experience.   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Malph has over 19 years of experience working with brands, commercial rights holders (teams, leagues, federations, broadcasters, etc.), agencies, and investors. He has advised global brands, including Sky, Team Sky, Guinness, British Airways, 21st Century Fox, Jaguar Land Rover, Gatorade, Oakley, Wiggle, AEG (The O2 & Wembley Arena), Ordnance Survey, and 888.com on their sport, film, esports and entertainment marketing and commercial strategies. Esports clients have included BT, Coutts Private Bank, World Rugby, the ECB, SailGP, Badminton World Federation, GAME, Belong Gaming Arenas, Insomnia Gaming Festival, Fortress Melbourne, and Esports Scotland. He also delivered esports insight to the Premier League before the launch of the ePL and advises Venture Capital and Private Equity funds on the deployment of capital into sports, esports, and gaming. Malph is frequently invited to speak about esports on industry event panels and interviewed by the media. He tries to share insight rather than just information. Check out for the latest podcasts, interviews & insights. LinkedIn:  Malph@strivesponsorship.com Website:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. This is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of esports entrepreneurs and others to learn how they solved a particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. In Season Two our theme is “Follow the Money”. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Esports Investing: The Investor’s Perspective
Oct 22 2022
Esports Investing: The Investor’s Perspective
Our guest is Dave Harris from Australia. He is Managing Director at Guinevere Capital. He is also an Investor and former Chairman of EXCEL Esports and a Founding Partner at League of Legends Circuit Oceania. Our discussion included: How investing in esports works, including ways for a person seeking investment can have the best chance of securing that all important deal. Dave’s start in esports coming from a traditional sports background The very beginning of Guinevere Capital An overview of esports in Australia: “One of our challenges has always been our geographical isolation, we’re just too far away. Stuck in a small player base.” A description of the VC and investment ecosystem Mobile opportunities (of lack of them) in esports in Australia and the world The Investment process: Networking: “First thing is to network. Getting to know ‘important’ people, people who are important for what it is that you want to achieve.”The importance of introductionsThe investment timeframe: “My advice is to everyone is that everything takes longer than you planned. Make sure you have plenty of runway.”Do you need to be making money if you are seeking investment?What does an investor provide in addition to writing a checkSynergy between investments in an investor’s portfolio The role of the publishers in esports and how it impacts investing The story of the start of EXCEL Esports The growing influence of investment from the Middle East on esports Should the Olympics include esports? (Hear what Vincent Pereira from the International Olympic Committee told the group at Next World)   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Dave Harris possesses over 20 years’ experience across top international sports & esports organisations including International & Domestic Cricket, English Premier League and Football League Clubs and his last traditional sports role as General Manager, National Rugby League in Australia.  He has worked at Boston Consulting Group and holds an MBA from Oxford University.  He is a member of Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) and a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors.  Dave has invested in & at times led esports projects including League of Legends Circuit Oceania (LCO), Skybox.gg, Excel Esports and Esports High Performance Centres. LinkedIn:  dharris@guineverecapital Website:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. This is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of esports entrepreneurs and others to learn how they solved a particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. In Season Two our theme is “Follow the Money”. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
The Business Side of Streaming and Esports Events
Oct 15 2022
The Business Side of Streaming and Esports Events
Our guest is Christian Bishop, Director of Twitch Properties - Gaming & Esports. Our discussion included: Christian’s esports journey from venues, esports arenas, production companies, tournaments/leagues, teams and now on the platform side. “Going through the grind.” In Person Esports Events - TwitchCon Revenue streams from in person events: The difference between TwitchCon and other eventsThe 5 top sources of revenueThe most important revenue driver: “It’s the people”Relevance, relevance, relevanceThe value of media rightsShould every live event be online? Sponsors and partners: The hard work needed to land and keep sponsors and partnersThe value of networking and going to as many events as possibleWhat if brands (endemic) only want to give you product?Using sponsorship platforms like Sponsor United - relevance impacts sponsorship Brand Managers: What are sponsors of live events looking for?The value of having an “angle”How underserved markets can be the best opportunity On-line Esports Events – Twitch Rivals What is Twitch Rivals?8 revenue streams for online eventsThe value in moving away from sponsorship to monetizing your audience directly How should a content creator promote their own content? Tips for building out your audienceUsing new features on platforms to get the most attentionChristian’s journey on becoming a streamer himself – “It’s hard work!” Upcoming changes to the streaming world How much can a streamer expect to earn? The answer is, it depends. Twitch and emerging markets Olympics Should the Olympics include esports in their program? Closing comments Brands need to know about gaming and esportsGamers are moving into positions of powerLegacy sports impact on esports Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Christian Bishop is the Director of Twitch Properties - Gaming & Esports. He is a passionate lifelong gamer that is committed to building the esport community. His past experience includes Chief Revenue Officer of Method, Commissioner at Estars Studios, President of Business Development at Thunder Gaming, and many more positions working including working on the production of entertainment content. LinkedIn:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. This is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of esports entrepreneurs and others to learn how they solved a particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. In Season Two our theme is “Follow the Money”. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Esports Venues, Festivals, and Innovative Partnerships with Sidick Bakayoko
Oct 8 2022
Esports Venues, Festivals, and Innovative Partnerships with Sidick Bakayoko
Sidick Bakayoko from Côte d'Ivoire is the Founder and CEO at Paradise Game. Our discussion included: Sidick’s background including how he learned that being number one in a startup is a lot different than being #2 or #3. Paradise Game Paradise Game's mandate is to entertain, educate and empower young Africans through video games and esports. How FEJA: Electronical and Video Games Festival of Abidjan beganContent creation as an extension of FEJAThe value of starting out with a small event to gain experience and build credibility in the industryRecruiting partners for Paradise Game, including some that did not pay but added tremendous valueRealistic time frames for developing live events Ed-tech Facilities How esports venues were developed to become training centersWorking with commercial real estate developers to get the best deal for spaceWorking through the challenges of having many people tell you that that is not going to work Content Creation “In order for us to create the future we need to figure out a way to put it in front of people”How creating a TV show created jobs and changed livesThe challenge of getting an audience for an entire event, and not just the championship Sponsorship How to recruit big brands to your projectHow Sidick landed a deal with Orange Telecom – one of the largest in AfricaExplaining esports to brands not familiar with the industryExpected time frames for landing sponsorship dealsWhat some of the top industries are who sponsor esports in Africa Branded Pre-paid Cards Why Paradise Game decided to enter the world of fin-techHow the pre-paid card can unlock the gaming marketHow Sidick was able to have interns from the Stanford Seed program join his team Mobile Is mobile the future of esports in Africa? Olympics Should the Olympics include esports?   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Mr Sidick BAKAYOKO is a technology professional with more than 15 years of experience in the areas of marketing and product development of technology solutions. Sidick is the Founder and CEO of Paradise Game, an Ivorian company that intends to Entertain, Educate and Empower young Africans. Paradise Game’s vision is to engage and influence 200 million young Africans using video games. Earlier in his career, He led the sales and marketing efforts of mobile value-added service provider DIGITAL AFRIQUE TELECOM (DAT) in 27 African countries, delivering several challenging multimillion-dollar projects from start to finish. He also led the marketing efforts of the revolutionary mobile application ClickOVA alongside SCANBUY founder Olivier Attia in New York city. The application was in 2007, an innovation in the space for seamlessly backing up contacts, pictures, and videos over wireless networks. He holds an Electronics and Computer Engineering Degree from the New York Institute of Technology in the USA and participated in the Stanford University SEED program. Twitter: Game: Seed:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. This is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of esports entrepreneurs and others to learn how they solved a particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. In Season Two our theme is “Follow the Money”. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Esports Sponsorship, Investment, and Merchandising
Oct 1 2022
Esports Sponsorship, Investment, and Merchandising
Our guests are Trev Keane, Director Esports Strategy: EPIC Global and Advisor/Judge at Stadia Ventures, and Cholwe Shabukali, Co- Founder and Managing Director at Team Gematrix and a Zambian Esports Pioneer. Our discussion includes: Cholwe’s background including how being selected for an accelerator program at BongoHive started her on turning a passion into a business. Trev’s background recalling how “games were part of our lives” as he grew up in Ireland. Sponsorship Cultural barriers impacting women in Africa joining the esports industry“How do you eat an elephant?”What is a “challenger brand” and a “hero brand” in sponsorship?Discovering where the brands are on their esports journeyThe value of working with sponsorship agencies Sponsorship Timeframe What does the typical timeframe look like for a sponsorship deal?Be patient: “Your urgency is not their urgency”Understanding brand budgeting cycles Investment What sources of investment are most common in Europe and AfricaThe number one piece of advice: “Understand your value”Investigate accelerators in your market for business advice as well as for potential investorsUnderstand your community and bring that awareness to potential investors Merchandising How to develop a merchandising plan with the right objectives: fun and valueCommunity driven input in your merchandising program Last words Trev: “Think long term.”Cholwe: “Be aggressively patient.”   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Trev Keane, Director Esports Strategy: EPIC Global and Advisor/Judge at Stadia Ventures. LinkedIn: Global: Ventures: Shabukali is co-owner and managing director of Team Gematrix, Zambia's pioneer esports organization, her organization has a record of multiple sub-Saharan African championships and presence across 3 continents. She was listed as the top 100 game changers by unreal engine in 2020. She is also the current interim Secretary General for the Esports Federation of Zambia. LinkedIn: Gematrix:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. This is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of esports entrepreneurs and others to learn how they solved a particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. In Season Two our theme is “Follow the Money”. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Recruiting and Managing Esports Sponsors
Sep 24 2022
Recruiting and Managing Esports Sponsors
Today’s guests is Luca Tucconi from Cape Town, South Africa. He is the National Gaming & Esports Specialist at Red Bull. Before that he founded ORENA, South Africa's Premier Esports Tournament & Events Agency. Our discussion included: Luca’s background including how he saw a void in the local tournament scene in South Africa and decided to fill it. Red Bull South Africa: Where esports fits into the company marketing strategyHow esports athletes are treated the same as traditional sports athletes Sponsorship: What role does sponsorship play in esports?The lack of understanding of what individuals can truly offer to a brandThe first question an esports streamer or team looking for sponsorship should ask themselvesThe importance of building a consistent foundationThe best strategy for someone starting outManaging expectationsWhat are brands looking for and how do they measure success? Platforms: What gaming and esports platforms are the most popular in South Africa and Africa as a whole?What social media platforms should a content creator should use? Traditional Sports Comparisons: What are the benefits of a league structure in esportsThe role of ‘celebrity’ streamersThe growing role of gamers in the business world The African Continent: How can esports benefit the entire continent?Servers, always servers Mobile: How does mobile fit into African esports?What is the impact on sponsorship? Olympics: Should the Olympics include esports in their official program?The issue of perceived violence in some games Plus, the most surprising esports sponsors he has discovered   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Luca Tucconi is the National Gaming & Esports Specialist at Red Bull, South Africa, joining in 2018. Before that he was the Founder of Orena, South Africa's Premier Esports Tournament & Events Agency. He is in Cape Town, South Africa. LinkedIn:    *  *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginal Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. This is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of esports entrepreneurs and others to learn how they solved a particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. In Season Two our theme is “Follow the Money”. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Season Two Trailer: ”Follow the Money”
Sep 6 2022
Season Two Trailer: ”Follow the Money”
The Gamers Change Lives Podcast Season Two: “Follow the Money” Do you have big goals for your esports team, or tournament, or enterprise? I’ll bet the answer is a big “YES!” We are gamers, right? We know what thinking big and winning feels like. But the one thing holding us back from reaching our goals is money. There is never enough investment to start out or grow our business. We don’t have enough money to send our team across the world, or even across town. And there is never enough to be able to pay for that spectacular venue we see in our dreams for our next tournament. Or sometimes to pay out the tournament prizes. Why does this happen more often than not? In Season One of the Gamers Change Lives Podcast we spoke with so many successful esports entrepreneurs and others and the one common theme we learned from them all is that it takes money to make things happen. It takes money to create jobs. And to change lives. But let’s face it money can be hard to find, especially in some parts of the world, maybe in your part of the world. Season Two of the Gamers Change Lives Podcast is titled “Follow the Money”. We know that there are plenty of sources of money out there. They exist in every part of the world, including yours. Trust me on this. Many of the people controlling investments and sponsorship don’t know about esports. They think of esports as their son or daughter playing Fortnite, or FIFA, or COD. They don’t think of esports as an opportunity for smart business deals. Not yet anyway. Who is going to tell them? You are. And in Season Two we are going to help you do just that. No, we are not going to be handing out money in Season Two. Instead, we are offering something much more valuable, the stories of others who have done exactly what you want to do. “Finding funding in esports is not rocket science. It is learning where to look, what to say, and how to close deals all from people who have done it before.” Join Us Join us on our journey in Season Two of the Gamers Change Lives Podcast: “Follow the Money”. Subscribe today and be the first to hear of our new season and to hit the ground running on changing your esports adventure forever. Episode Webpage:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginal Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Women in Games: Creating a Pipeline
Aug 13 2022
Women in Games: Creating a Pipeline
Today’s guests are Chantal-Denise Ortega, the Brand Partnerships Manager at Galaxy Racer North America, and HER Galaxy speaking from Mexico City. And Xinmiao Zhang who manages game pipelines and projects at Tencent speaking from Shanghai, China. Our discussion included: How our guests became involved with esports and gaming plus with Women in Games Women in Games: The goals of the organization: “to encourage, empower, and inspire women to join the games industry”The “Mothership” in the UKThe two messages: encouraging women to join the industry as well as to help them reach leadership positions The Asia Chapter of Women in Games What led to the founding of the chapter in Asia?The organization structure and the regions covered by the chapterWhat are the cultural differences between the west and Asia?How does language impacts the work of the organization?What games that are most popular with the female demographic? The Ambassador Program What is the Ambassador Program at Women in Games and what role does it play?How have awards and events helped to promote the program? Jobs The status of women in the gaming industry in 2022 and the lack of role modelsCreating a pipeline of women to reach leadership roles in the gaming industryWhat is the Investment and Entrepreneurship Forum? Olympics Should the Olympics include esports in their official program? Mobile: Is mobile the future of esports in Asia or has that already been decided? The future of Women in Games   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Chantal-Denise Ortega is the Brand Partnerships Manager at Galaxy Racer North America and HER Galaxy. She also does consultancy for business development and partnerships in the area of gaming and esports. In 2019, she helped establish FIGHT Esports in Southeast Asia - running esports tournaments in the region both offline and online and establishing partnerships with game publishers and online platforms. Chantal joined W Coffee in 2020 and was appointed as a Women in Games WIGJ ambassador in 2021. LinkedIn:    Miao Zhang is currently managing game pipelines and projects at Tencent, based in Shanghai. She is devoted to promoting women’s leadership at companies and in society. Studied in China, US, and Italy, Xinmiao developed a strong interest in exploring the impact of cultures on different social groups and contributing to helping more women establish global minds. Besides, she also had experience in luxury fashion and management consulting. LinkedIn:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Esports Sponsorship and Investment with Dimitris Farmakis from Greece
Jul 30 2022
Esports Sponsorship and Investment with Dimitris Farmakis from Greece
Today’s guest is Dimitris Farmakis. He is the Head of Esports at Yieldly and Yesports. Our discussion included: An overview of esports in Greece. Yesports: What is the mission of Yesports?How do you recruit teams and streamers?Is language an issue in esports? Investment in esports (and no, this is not financial advice – you need a qualified financial advisor for that): What types of esports organization are looking for investment?What are some of the different investment formats?Importance of talking the language of the investorWhat are investors looking for in esports?Are there alternatives to investment that can help esports entrepreneurs? Sponsorship: Finding sponsors in unusual places – think outside the boxThe value of non-endemic sponsorshipIs esports seen as a worthwhile industry to sponsors and investors?Who is a content creator in the world of esports? Mobile: Is mobile the future of esports in Greece? Platforms for Streaming Games in Greece: What are the most common streaming platforms? Government Is the government supportive of the esports industry?What more can be done? Olympics Should the Olympics include esports in their official program? Networking The value of networking in esportsHow to use LinkedIn Episode Webpage:   *  *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Dimitris Farmakis – Head of Esports at Yieldly and Yesports LinkedIn:    Yieldly:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Esports Content Creation and Branding in India with Dhiman Kashyap
Jul 23 2022
Esports Content Creation and Branding in India with Dhiman Kashyap
Today’s guest is Dhiman Kashyap, Co - Founder, CEO of Resilience Esports & ex-Head of Operations at Esports Federation of India (ESFI). Our discussion included: Establishing and building a team to create a successful esports organization The importance of having the right people in placeThe ability to use the team to build for the future Content Creators Who is a content creator in the world of esports?What does the talent team at Resilience Esports look for when recruiting content creators?Training to become a successful content creator Jobs What are some of the jobs that have been created at Resilience Esports? Brands Why are brands increasingly interested in esports?How are non-endemic brands sold on the idea of investing in the esports industry? Mobile Is mobile the future of esports in India?Projected growth of the PC market in India Platforms for Streaming in India What are the most common streaming platforms?Do the platforms support the esports industry in India? Language and Culture in Esports Is language a barrier to success in esports?How does culture impact esports and content creators? Olympics Should the Olympics include esports in their official program?Will qualifying events add to jobs in the esports industry?   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Dhiman Kashyap – Resilience Esports, Delhi, India LinkedIn:   Resilience Esports:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
The Institutional Esports Movement with Ido Brosh from Israel
Jul 16 2022
The Institutional Esports Movement with Ido Brosh from Israel
Today’s guest is Ido Brosh, “The Esports Guy from Israel.” Ido is the VP Europe of the International Esports Federation. He is also the President of Esports Europe and Founder and CEO of Winzard. Ido's esports accomplishments demonstrate that working through the many esports organizations on a local, national, and international level, can result in greater accomplishments. Our discussion included: How the Israeli Esports Association began his esports career. What role do esports organizations play in the esports world? What is the “Institutional Esports Movement”?  Government • How the growth and maturity of the esports industry has led to more and more interaction with the government; and why that is a good thing. • Why can’t esports be treated like traditional sports, with the same resources? • The higher importance of government in smaller countries. NGO funding sources – always follow the money. The International Esports Federation (IESF) • What it the mission of the IESF? • How does it fit into the esports ecosystem? Hosting events in Israel. Where does politics fit in? • Having more events will bring a greater awareness of players as individuals, and not as someone only wrapped in a flag. • Gaming truly is its own language Winzard What is Winzard? And how does it work to create multiple streams of income? Mobile • Is mobile the future of esports in Israel and MENA? Olympics • Should the Olympics include esports in their program? Episode Webpage:  *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Ido Brosh:  LinkedIn: International Esports Federation:   Esports Europe:   Winzard Twitter:  *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode.  Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at  to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook:   Twitter:   PRODUCTION: Creator and host: Tom Leonard (USA) -   Producer: Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Servers Plus How to Introduce Gaming to Non-gaming Companies with Brad Kirby in South Africa
Jul 9 2022
Servers Plus How to Introduce Gaming to Non-gaming Companies with Brad Kirby in South Africa
Today’s guest is Brad Kirby from Cape Town South Africa. Pioneer in African gaming and esports. Seasoned Project Manager with Business Development and Digital Marketing Management experience. Deep understanding of the gaming and esports industry and experience in planning, developing, streamlining, and implementing multiple successful skill-based gaming strategies which include influencing gaming strategy and direction for media titans like Naspers, Multichoice, and Econet Media, across the African continent. Our discussion focused on infrastructure (servers, always the servers) and how to bring gaming to non-gaming companies. The benefits of gaming that he noticed in himself and for others. Being a gaming/esports evangelist: How to demonstrate to media and tech companies the value of the gaming audienceHow to talk to the “suits”The value of perseveranceShow them the money Servers Servers 101: why is location so important to gamers and esports professionalsHow gaming drove down the cost of connectivity in South AfricaPublishers vs. private servers Media Companies Are media companies interested in esports?How can esports can use broadcast TV?Do sponsors understand esports? Mobile Is mobile the future of esports in Africa? Olympics Should the Olympics include esports in their program?   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Brad Kirby: LinkedIn: African Cyber Gaming League (ACGL):   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Esports in Africa with Michael Akintaju in Atlanta
Jul 2 2022
Esports in Africa with Michael Akintaju in Atlanta
Today’s guest is Michael Akintaju. He lives in Atlanta, GA in the US, and is from Lagos, Nigeria. He is a writer at the AfroGamer where you may have heard him on the AfroGamer Podcast. He is also a project manager Lagos Esports Forum (LESF) and Co-Founder of Mobiele. Michael demonstrates that it is possible to support esports around the world from anywhere in the world. Our discussion included: What is it like to work on esports in Africa and Nigeria while living in the US? The Lagos Esports Forum (LESF) What is the LEST and how did it come about?What was it like to start a project in the middle of the COVID pandemic?How LESF began returning to in person events in a big way with Mortal Kombat on a cinema screen Mobile Is mobile the future of esports in Africa?The three reasons it will dominate in the futureMobile eventsMobiele – what is this new platform and how did it come about?Future plans for Mobiele The Afro Gamer Michael talks about the podcast and some of his favorite momentsOther Afro Gamer projects and how it got started Investment in Esports The investment climate in esportsInternational funding for Africa esports The difference between gaming and esports Olympics Should the Olympics include esports in their program?The Commonwealth Games   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Michael Akintaju: LinkedIn: Esports Forum: AfroGamer: AfroGamer Podcast: -   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at   to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Sponsorship and Marketing with Nick Holden from South Africa
Jun 25 2022
Sponsorship and Marketing with Nick Holden from South Africa
Today’s guest is Nicholas Holden. He is an industry-respected esports and gaming specialist in South Africa. He is the managing director of African Cyber Gaming League (ACGL.co.za) and works with Entravision 365 Digital as their Gaming Solution Specialist. With over 11 years of work experience in gaming and esports, Nick and his team have played a pivotal role in growing competitive gaming in the school, university, and public sector in South Africa. With a strong belief in building a sustainable future for esport, ACGL provides a pillar via their award-winning platform from which to grow gaming not only in South Africa but also for the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa too. Our discussion included: The African Cyber Gaming League - a South African eSports company specializing in online and LAN tournament administration, management, and broadcasting. What is ACGL and how did it come about? Sponsorship How to identify and recruit the right sponsors for your esports programFigure out what your value is firstDoes “no” really mean “no”?Metrics a sponsor may be looking for to be successfulChallenges of sponsorship in the African esports world Marketing Where can you find your audience?The importance of communityStructure is key to success Social Media How should an esports enterprise approach the use of social mediaThink of the platforms as “rooms” Unpaid Media What is unpaid media and how can it be used“Shoot for the stars”Content strategy Mobile Is mobile the future of esports in Africa? Olympics Should the Olympics include esports in their program?   Episode Webpage:   *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Nicholas “Nick” Holden: LinkedIn: Cyber Gaming League - ACGL:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at  to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Creating Esports Jobs Around the World from Chile with Ulises Fahnert
Jun 18 2022
Creating Esports Jobs Around the World from Chile with Ulises Fahnert
Today’s guest is Ulises Fahnert from Santiago, Chile. He is the Founder of NowPlayNoGames and has many years of experience in a wide variety of esports ventures. NOTE: The most important message that was brought home in this discussion was that creating esports jobs can be done from anywhere in the world with planning and persistence. Our discussion included: Esports in South and Latin America What is the current landscape of esports in South AmericaHow different countries stack up – Mexico and Brazil for exampleServers, always serversGovernment impact on esports – history and hopeful future Esports across cultures Is gaming an international language on its own?Game and platform preferencesInteresting note: Ulises got into gaming not only from playing at a young age, but by the opportunity for international travel. The Vision 100 million concurrent viewers of esportsIs the future of media esports?How can esports truly become mainstream? India The road to India goes through BrazilChanging peoples’ lives through esports Sponsorship A new form of sponsorshipWhat is a sponsor actually looking for?Gamers are smart Mobile Is mobile the future of esports in South America?Is PS and XBOX in their last iteration?Mobile live events – lower cost and higher impact Olympics Should the Olympics in esports? Episode Webpage:   *  *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: Ulises Fahnert LinkedIn: guest is Ulises Fahnert from Santiago, Chile. He is the Founder of NowPlayNoGames and has many years of experience in a wide variety of esports ventures. Email: ulises@noplaynohgames.com Instagram:   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) -   ABOUT THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!
Creating a University Esports Program with John Cash
Jun 11 2022
Creating a University Esports Program with John Cash
Today’s guest is John Cash, the Founder & Global Professor JCSU Gaming & Esports Initiative at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States. In addition, he is the Chief Development & Education Officer and Investor at Cxmmunity in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE: The most important message that was brought home in this discussion was that creating esports programs at the university level is important to develop job skills for all of esports. Our discussion included: HBCU Institutions in the US What are HBCU’s and how do they fit into the higher education in the US.What challenges are there in creating an esports program at HBCU institutions. John C. Smith University Details on John C. Smith UniversityEsports Trifecta at JCSU Establishing an Esports Program Teamwork needed to get a program approvedWhat brought the administration over the finish line in the approval processDescribing what is in it for the universityBootstrapping an esports trifecta programPartnerships that made it happen Esports Program Trifecta What makes up the three components of an esports programWhat classes are neededWhat types of jobs will graduates be qualified to take including those in multi-mediaCosts of a university education in the US Diversity Why diversity is an important part of higher education Veterans Esports Programs What are esports programs geared for veterans in the US Cxmmunity What is CxmmunityHow was it establishedSponsorship opportunities made available through Cxmmunity Episode Webpage:   7-creating-a-university-esports-program-with-john-cash *  *  * FEATURED IN THIS EPISDOE: John Cash LinkedIn: I am honored to have John Cash, the Founder & Global Professor JCSU Gaming & Esports Initiative at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States. In addition, he is the Chief Development & Education Officer l Investor at Cxmmunity in Atlanta, Georgia. John C. Smith University - Black Colleges and Universities - Esports Increases Enrollment and Funding for HBCUs - - Labs -   *  * Please subscribe to our podcast wherever you are listening to this episode. Leave us a rating and a review if you like our content for others to discover what we are doing. And tell your friends! CONNECT WITH US ELSEWHERE: Visit our website at to learn more about our program, our blog, and sign up for our emails to be notified of upcoming episodes. Facebook: and host: Tom Leonard (USA) - Reginald Nsowah (Ghana) - THE SHOW: Play Games. Create Jobs. Change Lives. The Gamers Change Lives Podcast is a show about how to build an esports business from literally anywhere in the world where each week we showcase the journey of an inspiring esports entrepreneur and learn how they solved one particular problem that everyone will ultimately face. I am your host, Tom Leonard. I have a background in entertainment marketing. After working with many amazing esports entrepreneurs from emerging markets, they inspired me to create a show to tell their stories so that others can be motivated to create their own esports business. Gaming and esports can create jobs tackling the problem of global youth unemployment. Creating jobs from playing games. What could be better than that? Thanks for listening to The Gamers Change Lives Podcast!