We talked to Jacqueline Garrett on how GGWP Academy monetizes a career in gaming and this is what she had to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jacqueline Garrett: We live in a regional area on the East Coast of Australia, so overall we’ve been fortunate and have had less than 100 cases locally. Aside from 3 months of trying to home school my son while simultaneously running a startup, we’ve done well this year. The only minor impact has been the occasional “low” period during the lockdown when everyone gets sick of being inside.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded GGWP Academy?
Jacqueline Garrett: After 20 years of management roles across multiple industry’s and one startup exit, I found myself in esports and gaming due to my son. At the age of 9, my son was invited to his first world championships and competed at that level for three more years. He now (at 12) has his eyes on a different title in esports and live streaming. I realized that my communications and marketing background helped him immensely in being signed to top tier Australian esports teams and gaining sponsorship throughout this journey. So I wrote 20 training modules around these much-needed industry skills to share with others in the ecosystem. With that, I was accepted to the lead Sports Accelerator in Berlin and moved there for 14 weeks to participate. I came home armed with a new global network, clarity of product/strategy, and increased confidence that GGWP Academy could be something huge.
How does GGWP Academy innovate?
Jacqueline Garrett: The esports and gaming ecosystem is still in its infancy compared to traditional sports and entertainment and is now overtaking both in viewership and sponsorship revenue. We fill a significant gap of knowledge in our industry and educate gamers, globally, on all aspects of the wider business. Still, Innovation is a natural part of our industry and team at all levels. Our Influencer Marketplace takes a large step forward from what’s available now, and we can’t wait to deliver a higher ROI for brands across the globe.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jacqueline Garrett: Covid created a perfect storm of eyes on screens for everyone in our industry and opened new doorways of collaboration with traditional sports. It saved a few asses this year in terms of partnerships and marketing campaigns. Internally, we’re a remote working team, so it did not slow us down.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Jacqueline Garrett: Now that our lockdown is over (but social distancing still in place), I find time to be barefoot in nature. I go to the beach mainly and hang out with my family and friends. Being in the water energizes me more than any coffee or energy drink available.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jacqueline Garrett: We are lucky (or not?) to be the first of our kind but always maintain a close eye on companies capable of pivoting towards us. Essentially, we know that from a strategic point of view, we have something they don’t and so, mostly run our race. The key will be in execution.
Your final thoughts?
Jacqueline Garrett: Influencers, or content creators as they’re known in the gaming industry, really are the future in driving ROI from marketing campaigns. Their flexibility for brand representation, long-form media content, and community structures to engage their audience creates a dynamic and exciting avenue for brands of all sizes to communicate their message and increase sales. If you’re a marketing manager and haven’t started to educate yourself on this industry, you’ll be left behind in the next few years.