Sporting Gijon’s progressive approach to Twitch and eSports is attracting a new and younger audience

The team from Gijón have launched a weekly show on Twitch called ‘Puerta 18’, taking that channel to the next level.

Sponsorship deals with brands like Genyus School and BCD Sports have also continued the evolution of the club’s eSports team. 

All football clubs want to attract the next generation of fans and, in recent years, certain teams have adopted extremely innovative methods to achieve this objective. Sporting Gijon, the LaLiga SmartBank club based in Gijón, is one of the clubs thinking outside the box.

For example, the Asturian club launched the pioneering Mareo Education & Research Lab and even became the first Spanish club to create an escape room in a football stadium. Now, as the club looks to grow further in the digital sphere, Real Sporting have brought about an important transformation to their Twitch channel and have worked with sponsors to enhance their eSports offering. These two progressive approaches are helping the club grow digitally and are attracting a new and younger audience.

With the Twitch channel, it was previously solely used for eSports streams, but Real Sporting breathed fresh life into it by launching a weekly show called ‘Puerta 18’, or ‘Gate 18’ in English, with the name coming from the fact that the stadium of El Molinón has 17 gates. The show is opening up a virtual gate to the fanbase and is broadcast every Monday at 17:30, with a different guest each week. Many times, the guest will be a current first-team footballer, but Real Sporting will also highlight B team players, women’s team players, club legends and famous Real Sporting fans.

Discussing the launch of this new Twitch show, Real Sporting’s director of communications Carlos Llamas said: “We’ve seen that the younger generation wants new channels to interact with their favourite players. That’s why we came up with the idea of giving the Twitch channel a fresh boost. We want the guest and the fan to have a relaxed time during our show, for it to be pure entertainment and for there to be a special connection between the two parties. We want all fans in general, and the younger ones in particular, to see Real Sporting as a family and to feel like members of it thanks to our channel.”

Very few football clubs have put together a weekly show like this on Twitch, so Real Sporting are ahead of the curve in this sense. They’re also leading the way when it comes to agreeing sponsorship deals for the club’s eSports team, which competes in eLaLiga Santander. They have a main shirt sponsor in Genyus School and also an official travel agency in BCD Sports.

On these partnerships, Jorge Morales, Real Sporting’s Sales & Marketing Manager, said: “With these sponsorship deals, we’ve managed to make the team feel as important as it should be. For fans to see that brands also believe in eSports makes it more attractive. We tried for such deals in the past, but brands were still hesitant about the eSports sector then and the product didn’t stand out so much, But, with the evolution of eLaLiga in particular, this has given us a huge boost to make brands see the importance and possibilities of the eSports world. We’re grateful to both Genyus School and BCD Sports for their involvement with our team and for having been the first to ‘take the plunge’.”

With Real Sporting determined to grow in a digital sense and to continue adding new fans, they are excited to see eLaLiga Santander becoming ever more popular. As Morales added: “Now, thanks in part to the evolution of eLaLiga, we have a better understanding of the sector and we have projects in mind to achieve real growth in a way that generates business for the club, with all of this structured on three clear aspects: competitions, education and events. This will interest our fans, not only from an entertainment point of view but also from an educational and occupational point of view, which will undoubtedly bring us closer to a younger audience with passion for both Real Sporting and eSports.”

More initiatives to reach more fans

Looking to the future, Real Sporting won’t rest on their laurels and the club from Gijón will aim to keep growing through Twitch and eSports.

Discussing the future of the Twitch channel, Llamas stated: “It won’t stop with ‘Puerta 18′. In the future, if we see that people like this format, we’ll aim to launch new shows at different times to have a more complete programme with multiple options for our fans.”

As for the continued growth in eSports, the director of communications concluded: “We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg and that, in the coming years, we’ll see the club grow with more teams, more gaming platforms and more infrastructure, with growth that is as gradual, serious and professional as possible.”

This article originally appeared in  LaLiga’s  Global Futbol  newsletter.

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Tags Segunda Sporting Gijon
La Liga - Club News