Trends in Two Minutes is a monthly bulletin of trends hitting businesses across
Asia-Pacific with a focus on marketing and communications. 
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From Niche to Vogue: Inside the eSports Explosion

Over the past six years, worldwide eSports revenue has more than quadrupled. By 2021, it’s anticipated that professional competitive videogaming will be drawing in more than US$1.6 billion worldwide. It’s already been confirmed as a medal event for the 2022 Asian Games and many stakeholders are pushing for an Olympic debut at Paris 2024. 

Few regions are better positioned to capitalise on this growth than Asia Pacific. In 2017, Asia accounted for roughly a third of all eSports revenue – more than any other market worldwide. While approximately 97% of global eSports tournaments emerged in the past fifteen years, South Korea’s Ministry of Culture established an eSports association as early as the year 2000.

For brands and communicators, the opportunities are manifold. With eSports events garnering audiences of up to 43 million people, leveraging eSports can help brands to connect with new demographics on a massive scale – including Millennial and Gen Z communities who may otherwise prove difficult to reach. And, with eSports sponsorship still in the early stages of growth, it may well be at a lower cost than some of the popular traditional sports sponsorships. (For now, at least.)

Tech Talks: The Surprising Value of Taking a Stand 

With the advent of social media, brand leaders have been increasingly thrust into the public spotlight and expected to offer comment on public issues. Our own research in recent years and again last year, has consistently shown that CEOs who can skilfully navigate these issues may help boost and strengthen their brand’s reputation among consumers and employees by doing so.

However, our latest research suggests such leadership carries particular significance for professionals in the tech sector. According to our report titled CEO Activism in 2018: The Tech Effect, eight out of 10 professionals surveyed believe CEOs have a responsibility to speak out on public issues of importance and respond favourably to those who do.

With tech-savvy professionals becoming increasingly in-demand across a wide variety of different industries, such findings suggest new communications strategies for brands around a myriad of areas. Whether a tech start-up moving into a new market, or an experienced brand working to retain tech talent, public stances and principled leadership will go far.

The Decentralised Workplace – Are Co-Working Spaces the Future?

Over the past fifteen years, typical working arrangements have only grown more flexible. As of 2018, 70% of professionals worldwide report working remotely at least once per week – and more than half telecommute for the majority of their work. This transition to less-traditional approaches has only been encouraged by Millennials; 50% of whom would leave their current role for a position that allowed them to work remotely on a regular basis.

In Asia Pacific, this shift toward flexibility has taken a different direction to similar movements in Europe and America. Specifically; the rise of the co-working space. From 2014 to 2017, the amount of co-working space in Asia Pacific grew by an average of 150% – with Korea, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Zealand all registering as key growth areas.

This expansion, far eclipsing that of the United States and Europe, speaks to the unique priorities of Asia Pacific. In addition to the same global desire for greater flexibility in the workplace, APAC employees prioritise culture and community. An overview of 649 studies, for example, found Chinese ideals of leadership to be consistently more communal than western ideals of leadership.

As such, the shift to co-working spaces represents both a challenge and an opportunity for brands and communicators in the region. While further underscoring the need to deliver non-traditional working arrangements to connect with today’s talent, the trend also deeply emphasises the value of communicating a strong, engaging culture to existing and prospective employees.

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