I'm not sure specifically who Time Warner thought they were going to get to apply for their latest role, but the pool of candidates won't be bloody large after this set of requirements went out.
The conglomerate announced its entry into the world of eSports late last month, with Turner Sports partnering with the WME | IMG agency to create a televised eSports league for 2016.
But while Time Warner has gone to the effort of signing partnerships and jumping into the vast ocean that is gaming, they haven't hired someone to manage this brand new partnership. That's where this mammoth of a job posting comes in, and it's a bit of a doozy.
I'm not sure which is more daunting: the many, many non-eSports qualifications you're supposed to have, or the extensive bevy of eSports knowledge you're expected to have amassed in that time you were closing long-term partnership deals, designing eSports initiatives and bringing them to market and so forth.
Let's go over the qualifications, the deal-breakers, first. There's a lot.
8-10 years of gaming business management, media, marketing and production experience Comprehensive understanding of eSports landscape including relevant game titles and publishers/developers, athletes and teams, league and tournament structures, etc. Deep understanding of existing and emerging business and monetization models within the video game and eSports industries Proven ability to define, develop, deploy and operationalise repeatable business models, programs and processes within gaming Experience building, mentoring and managing cross-functional teams within gaming industry Strong business development skills with proven track record closing long-term strategic and content partnership deals Creative thinker with proven ability to design, communicate and bring compelling eSports products and initiatives to market Strong program/project management skills with ability to drive planning, schedules, estimates, budgeting, resource plans and status reports -Bachelor's Degree or equivalent experience
Operationalise: an early contender for buzzword of the week.
What's interesting there is the line about having a proven ability to define repeatable business models, programs and processes, alongside "managing cross-functional teams within [the] gaming industry]". Perhaps Time Warner's trying to advertise for the former owner of Team 3D, Craig Levine?
The duties are a good indicator of the league's plans, too, with one of the main duties being to "build a monetisable gaming audience". More broadly, this is what the new eSports GM would be doing.
Manage the partnership with WME | IMG and TBS to ensure all responsibilities are aligned/integrated and reflect the overall vision for the business. Oversee both digital and linear production, developing a new capability for producing a sport that is different from traditional sports coverage. Partner closely with Turner Studios Atlanta to set the overall vision and to become the East Coast Hub for eSports. Lead the overall Ad Sales and Sponsorship efforts while building and managing relationships with non-traditional advertising partners. Identify digital distribution opportunities to create the greatest reach and best consumer experience, partner with technology on the development of distribution platforms. Create overall brand image and multiplatform marketing campaign for eSports league and tournaments with a heavy focus on social media; partner closely with PR to ensure marketing and PR efforts are closely aligned and coordinated and are reflective of the millennial consumer mindset. Identify long-term business-opportunities and potential revenue streams, including: hosting ancillary events, establishing a merchandising revenue stream, and expanding international reach.
Most of what's in there is to be expected, but the creation of a merchandising revenue stream is particularly interesting. Teams, players and peripheral manufacturers have already tried to get on the merchandising bandwagon but it hasn't really taken off. It's obvious that Time Warner looks at merchandising as a key pillar of this new league's success, however.
What's interesting is that this job ad came up just before ESL began advertising for a new North American product manager. Any connection between the two? Probably not, but you never know.
In any case, I can't help but imagine that Time Warner are going to have to bend a little on the job requirements. Most of the veterans in eSports have plenty of background in team management, overseeing digital content creation, sponsorships and long-term partnerships, but a decade of background in high-end production and monetisation is a tough ask.
It'll be interesting to see who they end up hiring, how long it takes and just how close their background is to this stratospheric-level job description. 2016 isn't far away.