Here’s the story of how this all began in full dear-diary mode, no TL;DR here, so be prepared.
A year ago, I was brought in as an expert to advise a local marketing firm on how to activate in esports and encourage their clients to invest in the future of gaming. While there, I met Tom Ferrara (aka ThunderousT), who is one of the most genuine, kind, and forward-thinking duders I have met -- especially in esports. He later moved on and joined IFA to head up their esports marketing endeavors and quickly identified -- along with the leadership at IFA -- that content was something they wanted to get into and invest in: cue Tom bringing me in to meet his incredibly impressive boss, Mike Zweigbaum, and their growing staff.
At first, I honestly had no idea that Mike and his staff had bigger plans for me and HHE. Per usual, I assumed I was going to have to tell another new-business esports group that they were doing it wrong in exchange for a free cheeseburger. However, once I walked into the room and sat down with Mike, it was clear to me that these people had it figured out in a way that I had not yet seen in the esports space at any level -- and it was happening right here in my hometown of Minneapolis.
The IFA/ESquared crew not only struck me with their dream team of gaming and esports talent on staff, but also with their vision for the Twin Cities. They’ve set out to create a magnet for talent, a home for gaming events, and to foster a meaningful community that will move Minnesota out of the fly-over-state realm. This checked all of the boxes for me.
After that first meeting, I knew I needed to get involved in some way -- so when they identified HHE as an acquisition target, the wheels were quickly set in motion to build something much bigger (and much cooler) than what HHE could do on our own. The subsequent months have led to a caliber of high-energy ideation and innovation that I’ve been looking for my entire professional career and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. To that end, I have been appointed the Director of Media at ESquared (that’s what I’ve been doing behind the scenes the last three-ish months) and my job is literally to build new shows, create more content, support more creators, and just generally make whatever fun stuff we can think of.