For many years gamers had a bad reputation. Somehow, in the last couple of years, major sports leagues are embracing eSports among them Real Madrid and most recently Topgolf (Topgolf Lounge – in cooperation with TCL, the fastest-growing television brand in North America ).
The launch of Topgolf Lounge at the CES 2019 was not the first step of Topgolf toward embracing and utilizing the popularity of eSports.
Probably their first step toward eSports was when they acquired World Golf Tour (WGT) an online game (mobile application) in 2016.
I think those who invest in eSports today, they see a hugely valuable market of 18-to-34-year-old people.
Business Insider predicts that 600 million consumers globally will watch eSports in 2023, up 79% from 2017.
Topgolf Lounge – potential customers
I was curious to find out who are the eSports fans. This is how I found Nielsen’s The eSports Playbook study (in 2017).
Here are their findings:
- 71% are men;
- 13 to 40-year-old esports audience, who have proven to be reliably knowledgeable about and engaged in the esports sector;
- Male fans tend to live stream esports content more frequently than their female counterparts;
- Attend live a live esports events: 16% (US), 14% (UK), 21% (France), 16% (Germany).
- Hours spent watching TV per week: 4.4 hours (US), 4.1 hours (Germany), 4 hours (France), and 3.8 hours (UK);
- Hours spent playing video games per week: 8.3 hours (UK), 8.2 hours (UK), 8 hours (France) and 7.9 hours (Germany).
- Influences in becoming an esports fan: mainly friends and family + vloggers, Youtubers, entertainers.
He also says that less than 50% of the people who go to Topgolf today actually play golf.
It is also good to understand that gamers are aware of the costs of having a gaming computer system at home (cca. $10,000 or more). If Topgolf Lounge would offer eSports as well to its guests then it would be even more attractive.
Topgolf Lounge – the offer
Topgolf Lounge will feature live sports on massive flat screens, industry-leading Full Swing simulators with a broad selection of virtual games, lively music, and locally curated dishes, hand-crafted desserts, and cocktail selections.
Topgolf Lounge will provide a premium, modern aesthetic with comfortable lounge seating, all designed to promote unforgettable experiences.
The virtual gaming is powered by Topgolf Swing Suite Technology, with every bay featuring cutting-edge golf and interactive sports simulation.
The 7,761 square-foot location boasts four public hitting bays and a private, VIP bay for special events and celebrity guests who are expected to frequent the Topgolf Lounge.
Topgolf Lounge locations will be strategically placed in densely populated areas in which larger, full-sized Topgolf venues aren’t sizably feasible.
The 1st-ever ‘Topgolf Lounge’ is officially set to open outside Seattle later in 2019. Topgolf ‘s new ‘Topgolf Lounge’ overlooking Lake Washington will be the first of many ultimate virtual entertainment facilities open to the public.
Topgolf venues in Austin, Texas, Charlotte, North Carolina, Houston-Katy, Texas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Scottsdale, Arizona will open TCL esports lounges throughout the first quarter of 2019, aligning with major events in local markets such as the NBA All-Star Game and Topgolf’s WGT/ PGA Tour Golf Events.
I would love to hear and see how will the golf industry and golf clubs are utilizing the popularity of Topgolf and convert their non-golfer guests into golfers and activate the passive golfers among them.
I can also accept that this kind of golf is a new breed of golf that we should treat as equal to the classic golf.