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Are You Sleeping On Fortnite?

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July 31, 2019

If you haven’t heard of Fortnite, then perhaps you are living under a rock. (Or you don’t interact with many teenagers).  While I’ve never played the game, I understand its appeal.  Particularly considering that my high school game of choice was Counter-Strike (don’t judge me!).

Up until last week’s Fortnite World Cup, many folks likely pegged the game as an unassuming obsession.  That is until a 16 year old won the lucrative $3MN prize.

Though admittedly, I’m unfamiliar with the world of e-sports, the investment potential that e-sports presents is not lost on me.  In fact, in about two years, Fortnite has amassed 250 million users and $2.4 BN in revenue.  Fortnite’s virality has significantly contributed to the 13% increase in video game/interactive media revenue to $120 BN.

Thus, begs the question for this week: are you sleeping on a viable market?

In Florida, for example, our evaluation of the LATAM and Caribbean markets is informed not only by our geographic proximity, but by the heavy population infusion that originally hail from that region.  The result: Florida imports $32.9 BN and exports $59.3 BN from LATAM and the Caribbean resulting in flow of 1/3 of all US exports to that region flowing through our state.  24% of Florida’s weekly air cargo capacity is allocated to LATAM markets and 100+  non-stop flights.  And, VC investment in LATAM is heating up, according to eMerge America’s new weekly circular, The Brief.  Simply put, you don’t have to look too far to spot a clear opportunity.  But, you have to look.

Where you look may be as close as the black hole known as Target.  Personally, I know that if a product lands in target, it has traction.  (note: this is not scientifically proven methodology).  Nielsen, on the other hand, is the go-to for data driven strategies.  While it strongly encourages investing in the highest potential innovations:

Nielsen notes, however, that too often investors and strategic corporate partners overlook significant markets, like the $1.2 trillion spending powered of African Americans. 

Notably, in certain sectors, like hair and beauty, “African American have corned the market.  . . Ringing up $54MN of the $63 MN total industry spend.” Just ask the Miami-based startup, Kazmaleje.

Andrew McCaskill, Nielsen’s Senior Vice President, Global Communications and Multicultural Marketing observes: “with 43% of the 75 million Millennials in the U.S. identifying as African American, Hispanic or Asian, if a brand doesn’t have a multicultural strategy, it doesn’t have a growth strategy. The business case for multicultural outreach is clear. African-American consumers, and all diverse consumers, want to see themselves authentically represented in marketing, and they want brands to recognize their value to the bottomline.”    

How we think about opportunity is often framed by a combination of personal familiarity (which builds trust), our individual lived experiences (which builds familiarity) and quite plainly, the circumference of our sphere of influence (which creates exposure). 

This process underscores the importance of diversity and inclusion, nor only as a social imperative, but an economic imperative as well.  

What opportunity have you been sleeping on?

Cheers,

Leigh-Ann I Venture Cafe Miami

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