Ep. 1 – Spiro Khouri | The Gaming Stadium
Spiro Khouri (@SpiroKhouri) from The Gaming Stadium is here to talk everything esports. Getting his start in gaming happened at an early age and following several positions in roles that only fuelled the idea of developing a career in esports. This progression leads to helping start up The Gaming Stadium and what will be a facility that finally gives esports fans a place to congregate and develop a budding community. We also talk about esports trends, what it’s like to market in the space, how the growing popularity is helping break the stigma of esports and how Twitch is allowing streamers of all kinds share what they love to do the most.
When I played Mario 64 for the first time, that’s when I was just like, “This is what I want to do for a living.” Open world, it totally changed the way that, for me, games were played.
– Spiro Khouri, The Gaming Stadium
In this show we discuss:
- Spiro’s background and how each of his positions at different companies allowed him to mesh all of his favourite things into one career in esports. He also used his role working at a casino to catapult the idea of having a dedicated esports lounge that could cater to the esports community while also increasing foot traffic at the casino.
- How loyal gamers are to brands that invest in the esports space, not just financially, but are there because they want to be a part of the community outside of just generating revenue for their bottom line. Companies that are actually interested in the esports space will go farther than ones who spend dollars without showing any interest.
- How The Gaming Stadium went from an idea to an actual facility. We also discuss The Gaming Stadium’s business model, how esports events will be held, as well as the training program they are developing.
- Breaking the stigma of esports and transforming it from kids playing games in a basement to a growing community that allows for like-minded people to have somewhere to go to meet new people, join a community and grow their esports skills.
- How esports has become more popular as streaming and watching videos has shifted from YouTube to Twitch. This shift now allows streamers to monetize their content more easily and also expands the topics that the platform can support.
- Marketing in the esports space. How a company must adapt the marketing to tailor to different audiences and different games.
- The difference of game popularity on a global scale and how certain games are more popular in some countries compared to others.
Show Notes and Links
- Introduction [0:00]
- Spiro’s origin story and how his career progression lead him to esports [0:24]
- Opening an esports lounge in a casino [7:23]
- Brand loyalty of gamers [12:37]
- Building brand loyalty with gamers is like developing a close group of friends [14:48]
- How companies can get into the esports space [17:47]
- The Gaming Stadium – how it came together and plans moving forward [20:34]
- How The Gaming Stadium is building a facility for people to go, establish a community and be a part of a social activity [29:22]
- Current environment within esports facilities [30:41]
- How The Gaming Stadium will work – the overall model, types of events, programs offered [31:38]
- The Gaming Stadium’s training curriculum [34:41]
- Breaking the stigma of the esports industry [37:50]
- Why have esports become so popular? [39:30]
- Why people are watching video games on Twitch more now than YouTube [44:01]
- The ability to monetize content creation [45:51]
- Marketing in the esports space [49:56]
- Spiro’s favourite games to play [52:17]
- Marketing of esports vs traditional sports [55:02]
- Different games becoming more popular in different parts of the world [59:33]
Check out the video below if you prefer to watch our conversation: