Darren Glover, VP of Gaming at VaynerSports, on Web3 Gaming and Content Creation
In an exclusive interview with cryptonews.com, Darren Glover, VP of Gaming at VaynerSports, talks about the intersection of sports & crypto, finding new ways to reach consumers, and how the current e-sports model is broken.
About Darren Glover
Darren Glover is the VP of Gaming at VaynerSports (Gary and AJ Vaynerchuk’s sports agency), where he oversees gaming talent representation and web2 / web3 gaming consultation.
Darren is a lifelong marketing and brand-building innovator. He’s obsessed with understanding today’s consumers and finding the most valuable ways to talk with them. His experience comes from working with professional athletes, Fortune 500 consumer brands, live streaming platforms, gaming publishers, and gaming content creators.
Darren Glover gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview which you can see below, and we are happy for you to use it for publication provided there is a credit to www.cryptonews.com.
Highlights Of The Interview
How the current e-sports model is broken and how we can fix itFinding new ways to innovate and reach consumersThe intersection of sports and crypto Marketing and content creation in cryptoEach social media platform has its own language
Full Transcript Of The Interview
Matt Zahab Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the Cryptonews Podcast. We’re buzzin as always, and today I am super pumped to have Darren Glover on the show aka Dglove, VP of gaming at VaynerSports which you all know of which is Gary and AJ Vaynerchuk Sports Agency, where Darren oversees gaming talent representation and Web2/Web3 gaming consultation. Darren is a lifelong marketing and brand building innovator. He’s obsessed with understanding today’s consumer and finding the most valuable ways to talk with them. His experience comes from working with professional athletes, Fortune 500 Consumer Brands, live streaming platforms, gaming publishers and gaming content creators. It’s been a hot minute we’ve been trying to get this dude on the pod for a while. Got him for an hour we’re ready to go, Darren we’re pumped to have you on bro welcome to the show.
Darren GloveWhat’s up?
Matt Zahab How you doing? What’s new, what’s good?
Darren Glover I’m doing great and we kicked off the show I told you I was pitching comedic skits here about my issues with cooking downstairs and making salads but other than that things are good man just get over a little bit of a cold so if I have to mute or cough off-screen here I will but you know I’ve been I’ve been busy holiday season is coming up so a lot of good stuff going on. Things are really good. How are you?
Matt Zahab Love that man. Good man. I’m good. Thanks for asking all good here in Toronto. We’ve got a couple of days of absolutely horrendous weather but it’s pretty par for the course. Toronto sports teams are doing pretty decent right now. She loves this love to see the lessor. buzzin Raps are absolutely doing okay, you know we’re superstar away from being a squad but story for another day. Today we’re recording on Thursday, December 15. This air, about a week later not but big shout out to one of your clients. One of your reps. Brycent had him on the potty, just won the Web3 Creator the Year congrats on that. It’s huge.
Darren Glover Yeah, it’s huge. That was one of those announcements. Yes. Feeling good. Yeah. No, that’s it’s fun. Yeah, we got we got a story coming out about it too. Once we knew that it was that was happening to just kind of like recap the last year. It’s been quite the pivot and quite the journey since we officially signed them.
Matt Zahab How much different is it? Pitching Web3 gamers versus Web2 gamers because like with Web3 gamers and Web3 content creators, so niche, it’s not really you know, front of mind. Like, besides Brycent, I, you know, I can only name a couple. But everyone knows the Ninjas and the T Foos of the traditional Web2 worlds like what are what are the biggest differences between the two subsets of gamers?
Darren Glover Um, what you probably think I mean, I wouldn’t like it’s obviously different, because it’s different. You know, like, it’s a cheeseburger and a hotdog, so to speak, like they’re two different products. But like, it’s in the same landscape of like, there’s similar toppings that you put on both. Like, there’s a lot of similarities as well. I think a lot of it in general. And like, I think this is just like a pitching. Pitching anything in general, is like setting expectations. That’s ultimately what it comes down to. And it’s just like one setting expectations and to being very cognizant over what you’re pitching. And what Brycent is going to end up pitching, so to speak. We’ve been very bullish on not doing anything related to coins and ICO, any sort of ICO and any sort of NFT minting or any sort of Land Sale. We don’t do those. And that’s just, I mean, there are craters that do that. I think that is the most cash grab ish way to work. As a creator, and money’s to be made and money’s to be had, I just don’t see that being sustainable in general, I don’t think this whole idea that games can go out and get early stage funding by selling land and digital assets. I think that’s fine for them to do. I just don’t see that being sustainable. I don’t see there being a big enough marketplace of investors that are going to want to do that right now. I think just going down the traditional route of coming up with a really good game idea. And then just like selling institutional investors on the game idea, and then building the game, and then making it Free-to-Play/Free-to-Mint game and then upselling into purchasable items of digital assets. Like, don’t confuse it like the Fortnite model works. It’s a Free-to-Play game, that’s somewhat easily accessible that works on cross platform, and they upsell you into purchasing things that then act as a revenue model. Like just bring that over the Blockchain and like I don’t know why, like, it’s not that that won’t work. I don’t know why we have to create the wheel. It’s like classic Web3 making shit confusing that it doesn’t have to be.
Matt Zahab Touché there. Your Tweets have been absolute fire recently. And I want to say today not too long ago, I was looking at your Twitter for just a little pre show prep. And you had a Tweet about Fortnite’s New Chapter launches and how they just create so much hype and anticipation. It’s truly the electric factory of launches when it comes to gaming. What did they do so well, like obviously, they you know, they have massive performance. I want to say Travis Scott was on a couple of years ago like they have big dogs coming into space spreading the word. There was up new skins, new influencers, they really bring out all stops. But what makes their new chapter launch so unique if you could sort of sum it up to just a couple of things.
Darren Glover I think they understand that it’s a performance. It’s not like no other game really does it like other games, they have announcements. And that’s it. But they have like layouts.
Matt Zahab On the show, though.
Darren Glover Yeah. Correct. And it’s a show that you’re involved in. So that’s, that’s a one big differentiator that no other game does. And then to their understanding of culture, to your point, like they’re working with the Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, they had a easter egg with Mr. Beast in the last one. I mean, their IP that they partner with is as culturally relevant as possible. And like they, I don’t think this was like an intention when you create Fortnite, but the way that they’ve scaled the game out is they’ve made it acceptable, that this world that you’re living in, you can play as some random alien. And then like the next game, you can play with Bugha, who’s like a normal human being. Or you can play with Bugha with the Alien Back Bling. It’s an untold aspect of Fortnite that there’s a lot of like, power to the individual. That it’s like, there’s you can pick person like you can pick what, who you want to look like. And there’s a lot of like, ownership over who you are and what you want to be today, you can find those elements inside of Fortnite, where today I want to play as this thing in person where you’ve got chunks of Ariana Grande mixed with Bugha mixed with the alien, like what does that even mean? But somehow in this world, it all kind of gets formed together. So I think it’s like this idea of like, I’ll take a Web3 term of just like the interoperability of IP. That’s number one. Two is they understand how to put on a show and a performance and bring the community in to that show and performance. So make it personalized to them. And their understanding of culture.
Matt Zahab Right, staying culturally relevant. Yeah, no, they’re absolute masters at it. They really do it like no one else. And I wonder why other AAA rated games like the Call of Duty COD sort of doesn’t what they’re.
Darren Glover They can’t. I mean, they can’t.
Matt Zahab Why can’t COD? Why can’t they do it?
Darren Glover Because COD has been built on a real world game. You play COD because you actually want to feel what an M40 feels like. They can’t bring an alien into the game. Like even the King Kong Verse, wherever thing like that was an L, it didn’t work didn’t perform well. People laughed at it. Like that, like that was their big event, that was that was you can hear John Sandy, Sally and Susie in the boardroom all try to take inspiration and insight from what Fortnite did. And it was a meme in the gaming community. It just didn’t work. And like that’s good insight for them to understand that like they can’t do it that way. But Call of Duty doesn’t have that format to just bring in any type of IP into the game of Fortnite or into the game of Call of Duty.
Matt Zahab What about integrating like one of the big athletes that like Tyreek Hill this week? You know, some reporters asking him what do you do on your off days and he’s like, I’m streaming man, he’s like I’m dropping any different playing obviously warzone. Like imagine being Tyreek Hill and COD and maybe your guys extra click like, I don’t know, like can be sort of fun. Like they’re gonna fuck around with a little bit. Yeah, give me a call.
Darren Glover I think you opened the door that like to where no game has gone and it’s tough to go down that pathway is that you’re getting into Pay-to-Win, right? I’m paying to get a skin that gives me a competitive advantage. You have to keep competitive integrity. So there’s that balance between making a balanced game update, but like all the things, you know, when we worked on Bugha’s skin in Fortnite, you know, it’s not like his pick axe. Chop the wood faster than other people’s pick axe, like the animation might be different, but it’s still the same damage. If you’re not paying to play better, which is why you can’t do that, so then it’s just based on the IP, and the animations, where it’s like, if I use this tactical sprint button is Tyreek Hill’s character gonna, like run like he has a foot, you know what I, then it starts to get a little too corny. And now it’s like, I don’t think we could try that. But like, how many different iterations of that can we do?
Matt Zahab But it’s also, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, you know, and like they’re printing money left, right and center. It’s bigger risk than reward almost on there.
Darren Glover Oh, yeah. That’s the idea of like, the smartest business strategies is trying to put yourself out of business. And that’s, I don’t think that’s what Call of Duty is doing from a partnership IP perspective. But like, Yeah, I mean, you always try stuff. And I think they have to, I think Call of Duty needs to try more smaller scale stuff to try to get bite sized chunks of insight, and not do what they did with Godzilla and whoever, King Kong, which is like, splash a thing that you don’t really know if that’s gonna work or not, rather than like, Okay, why don’t we take bite sized chunks of little stuff here and there, and then start to like, slowly tap into try to create something based on true insight, rather than to just base it off of a boardroom conversation that happened.
Matt Zahab Dglove, you’ve worked with many Fortune 500 Companies and a multitude of different facets. How does who’s the parent company called? Is it Activision? Whoever, how does? How does the parent company of COD fuck something up like that? Like, how do they drop the ball so hard on the Kong Godzilla thing? Like they have people like you, they can hit up for consultation, whatever, I just, I don’t get it. How do they how do you screw up so hard?
Darren Glover Again, like, did it did it work or not? Like? It’s the digestion of art, right? Some of it is also just subjective, where I don’t think it worked, because of the feedback that I saw from creators and the overall community of it feels like Call of Duty is forcing something.
Matt Zahab Yeah.
Darren Glover A square peg into a round hole. But maybe at Activision, because of also the metrics that you can trade against success. Like, it’s very classic like VaynerMedia, right? It’s like why VaynerMedia has become the king of digital is because they stuck to their guns on the actual value that digital and social brings to brands. And brands have shifted a lot of their media spends from traditional TV and magazine and Billboard, and radio into social, because you can actually show like all that. So you’re still looking at a different metric of success. And again, it’s like this idea of it’s tough to blame those marketers where it’s like, wait a second, Matt, like, if I’m your boss, and I say, Matt, here’s what success looks like for this campaign. Maybe that campaign hit those bars. Like you can’t always blame the team. Sometimes it’s like, well, what’s the scoring system that you’re being graded against? And if that if that campaign created a tremendous amount of impressions and clicks and all this other stuff, it’s black and white data, it’s not color. So the color to me didn’t work? Maybe the black and white data did when you just looked at how many people were talking about the thing, how many views it has on social like you look at those vanity metrics, and I bet it was a success. Yeah, no, but when you actually look at the impact, it’s the like quant versus the qual.
Matt Zahab The qual was that big L and the quant very well could have been a dub. So that’s very interesting point, though.
Darren Glover Anyway, yeah.
Matt ZahabThe growth of gaming and streaming the last couple of years, especially since COVID. It has just been exponential. It is absolute bananas. One of the things that intrigues me so much, it just makes me so curious, is the latest it was last year around this time, number one profession in the world for American students in grade school, like grade one to six number one was?
Darren Glover Twitch Streamer.
Matt ZahabBingo. YouTuber, Twitch Streamer, gamer, influencer. 40 years ago, doctor, astronaut, pilot, lawyer, athlete blah, blah, blah, athletes like not even the top 10 anymore. It’s all around the streaming aspect. Streaming and gaming go hand in hand peanut butter and jelly. You know, smokin pancake, whatever you want to call it? It’s just absolute bananas. Like, what’s going to be the next pillar of gaming and streaming? Is there a new thing that we have to look forward to? Is it just going to be new people coming up a lot of the same content? A lot of the same guys, what’s new in that regard?
Darren Glover Um, I guess like when you say that, my immediate gut and my brain goes to. I hope it’s not that right. It’s very much like this is like the Gary Vee era of entrepreneurship without understanding how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur. And because things become more accessible, they feel easy because there are a lot of people doing it. Not realizing that it’s still a very skinny bell curve, right? There’s a lot of people that make nothing. And there’s a lot of people that make a lot. But like the idea of understanding that in order to be a social media influencer, you’re not just, you can’t look at Josh Richards, and Charli D’ Amelio, and say, that’s where I’m going to get to, just as if you’re starting a business, and it’s the Gary mindset of like, you have to be comfortable saying, I’m going to give up my $150,000, a year, nine to five job that I hate waking up to, and be okay with making 125 doing my own business. On my own time, I’m happier. Like, that’s what you’re balancing. And maybe you can make 150 doing that. But it’s all around this, like personal happiness is like where it all boils down to. And I use that as a great example, in my opinion about this social media influencer vibe, where if you love creating content, and that’s genuinely what you’re passionate with, you love connecting with people, you love entertaining people, you love helping people, if it makes you happy, I think that’s what you should do. But I think there’s this false narrative that, like I this is like what I had to deal with, like when I work with athletes and non endemic people that want to stream because they see the headlines of how much money people make doing it. Thinking that all you have to do is just turn on a camera, and you just all of a sudden start printing money, and people are just going to come watch you. There’s nothing to it. It’s not a science, you don’t just turn it on and money comes, you turn it off, and there’s no money, its very difficult to continue to stay up on it. And now with more and more people doing it, it what happens, it makes it even harder, because it’s more oversaturated, algorithms on YouTube. I mean, there isn’t an algorithm, there’s barely an algorithm on Twitch. So you’re not going to be found organically anymore, just via Twitch. It’s a very difficult job and career. So it’s very funny, because I mean, even influencers now it’s like the classic meme. But you know, every great joke is kind of rooted in some truth. And this is a lot of truth. The overwhelming majority of influencers live in 100 square foot apartment in LA with six other influencers. Right? Like, it’s not a fun lifestyle. It’s not fun, if that’s what you write, it’s like, I used to make music until I was like, you know, I don’t want to be living out of my car, making music around the country. Like, I’d rather like go down the business route, like that’s, that feels more like me. And that’s where I’m going to be most happy. Even though I’m passionate about the thing. That’s where I feel like a lot of kids have to realize that and I wish there were more stories about failed influencers. Because I think that will balance out society of younger people to say, that’s something that I wanted to be in the NBA as a basketball player, at some point in time, three knee operations later at the division two school, I realized, you know what, maybe the NBA just isn’t in my career path. And I came to an understanding, and I ended up giving up that and I went down a different route. Like, that’s where I wish people saw the bad side of it.
Matt Zahab The truth.
Darren GloverNot to scare people.
Matt Zahab Yeah.
Darren GloverJust to balance it. Yes. It’s like, this is very difficult, no matter what it is that you do it. This is a very difficult job. And it’s very entrepreneur. Heavy, which means there’s a lot of, it’s up to you. There’s no help. There’s no safety net, it’s all up to you.
Matt Zahab The consistency is bananas there. Like the streamers these guys are on every day like Saturday, Sunday, Friday nights like they’re holding us in the eye and you got to respect him for that. One thing I’m very curious about is the athletes and you brought this up you started your streaming spiel about that. I’ve seen so many athletes, football players. I’m Canadian. Alphonso Davies, he’s, you know, our Canadian soccer poster boy, he’s a massive streamer now. All the athletes are, they’re starting to stream in game in their spare time. Like, I’m sure you’ve had dozens, if not hundreds of conversations with athletes at VaynerSports. So what is the Convo sound like what do they ask you guys? Do they just think it’s really easy, as you’ve said, get a nice friggin cam and mic and boom, you’re dancing? Like it’s not that easy. What do you tell them?
Darren Glover I think a lot. I mean, like a lot of things are it’s very incentivized by cash, even if people say that it’s not.
Matt Zahab Of course.
Darren Glover You know, it’s, I become more realistic and blunt about that. I think from an athletes’ perspective, you know, sometimes very blatant statement, and I have to watch how I say and try to be politically correct, but not really because I speak my mind but it’s just this idea of like, athletes are taken care of their entire life. And if you’re a top if you make it as a professional athlete in any sport, you’ve been patted on your ass with baby powder for the last 10 years. From high school to college to the pros. Everyone does everything for you. Like you get to do what you do best, which is play your sport. And that’s the whole model of being an athlete, which is like, let me do what I do best, which is like, the main thing is the main thing. And the main thing is playing my sport, I now have to provide some resources and help and support around me to do all the things that make up a pro athlete. But I can’t also be emailing, I can’t be doing everything. I can’t negotiate my contract and do my brand deals and capture my content and do my taxes. And like, that’s what you have people to help like, and that’s perfectly fine. But I think that mentality of coming into an environment like streaming, which is like, there’s no help.
Matt Zahab What do you talk to your show?
Darren Glover Like? It’s your show, and that’s what I mean, like, you can hire producers and everything. But ultimately, the light is red, the cameras on you, and the chat is live. And you got to do something. And then how do you do it the next day and the next day and followed up the next day? And then where’s that content going? How do you drive more like, there’s a dynamic to that. So anyway, how I do it is just being very blunt. And I think like the success rate is very low for athletes. Like, again, there are less than a percent of pro athletes that actually have a successful stream going on. Right? You can be successful, but you have to be determined and you have to be non-money hungry, you have to be passionate about doing it.
Matt Zahab You love the game.
Darren Glover For a Yeah, yet for a reason that’s not money and money will come. But a money and opportunity will come out at the end. But it’s an outcome. And it’s like another thing isn’t a Tweet that I had to be honest with you. I don’t know where I said it. But it was like very much top of mind of like, oh, it was about when I was talking about just like finding good agents. Yeah, agents that are driven by money. But the quote is still relevant here where it’s like financial outcomes are a byproduct of a very successful process. So you have to have a successful process in order to find valuable monetary, valuable outcomes in general, if not monetary. But it all starts with a successful process. And that process for athletes, of consistently streaming every day, and doing all this stuff sometimes just isn’t feasible. And the majority of times it’s not feasible. So it’s more of just being honest about what it is and making sure that what you’re doing, you’re okay having 10 viewers, and you’re still going to do it. If you’re okay with that you should do it. If you feel like it’s annoying, because the same seven people come into chat every day, they ask the same questions that just like, if it becomes a nuisance and a job for you, that’s where you stop doing it. And if you’re not consistent with streaming, you will never be successful. So it starts with loving the process and being consistent to your point. If you can’t do that, you just, it’s like don’t do it. Because it’s almost like annoying to do it. And you’ll just continue to annoy yourself by doing it. So that’s my answer.
Matt Zahab There’s also like a massive inherent risk as well, like all it takes is one slip of the mouse. And you could say something absolutely horrendous.
Darren Glover I never talked about that now you should never talk about that with people, you’re they’re good or you’re bad. If you’re if you’re saying dumb shit in your normal life, and it’s gonna slip up on stream, it’s gonna happen at another point anyways. So if you’re a bad person, you’re a bad person, karma is going to catch up to you at some point. So like people that slip up and say stuff bad on stream, like, it’s not that they shouldn’t be streaming like your shitty human being for saying that. Whether that was live on stream, it would have come and bit you on the ass anyways.
Matt Zahab Good people say stupid shift from time to time and they get absolutely hammered for it, you know that you get canceled for it. It’s unfortunate, but that’s how the world works.
Darren Glover Yeah. And he’s like, I think having tough skin in the world, in general is a good thing. Like I think more and more people being able to just again, like, be careful of how we’ve been talking about this on here. Like there’s a spectrum of what we’re talking about that’s off limits.
Matt ZahabOf course.
Darren GloverRacist, homophobic. That’s not what I’m talking about here. But having an opinion about topics in the world, whether it’s in your sport, in culture, in society, whatever it is, I think that’s important. And I think that’s the only growth pattern for athletes, musicians, and actors, like these traditional celebrities in our society. Like, you look at like, yesterday’s actor, you know nothing about their life.
Matt Zahab It’s true. Now, you know everything about the new guys. Yeah, you’re in there.
Darren Glover Now you know everything about these new people like so if you’re still trying to be this protective cocoon that lives behind closed doors, there’s an opportunity for you to succeed, but your life is going to be out there. So as an athlete, the only way for you to really differentiate yourself is to be active on these platforms and to become comfortable talking off the cuff, like, old school way of dealing with athletes is what postgame hey listen, man, you know, we follow the game plan we executed right? And we got that like, it’s the same talking points over and over again. And if you can say them, great, you are successful and people say that your media friendly. Well, that’s changing now. Like I think streaming is also a great learning and coaching tool. So it’s like there are always bad things that can happen anywhere. And you can always do stupid shit. But if you’re positioned in places and environments that help you get better at your craft, I think that only helps you for your future life as an athlete. If you’re comfortable speaking in front of a camera in front of 15 random people every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm, and you’re just talking about anything, it makes you more comfortable to be in that kind of awkward environment that a lot of athletes aren’t in because they never give themselves the ability to practice and get better at it until they retire and they go train to be on camera. That’s like this official training mechanism. But, man, I mean, okay, like you’ve taken 12 years to finally get that coaching and training. Do it on your own, start streaming, become comfortable answering questions off the cuff and being entertaining.
Matt Zahab More risk more reward and higher ceiling through and through makes sense, folks quick break huge shout out to PrimeXBT, we love these guys. They offer a robust trading system, both beginners and professional traders. Doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or vet, you can easily design and customize your layouts and widgets to best fit your trading style. They’re also given us a sweet promo code, it is CRYPTONEWS50, it is CRYPTONEWS50. All one word, to receive 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account. Again, that’s 50% of your deposit credited to your trading account with the promo code CRYPTONEWS50. The current eSports model, it is broken in your eyes. I love what you got to say about this hit me. Why is the current eSports model broken?
Darren Glover I mean, how is it not again? Like? Yeah, like how is it not broken? I guess it’s a question. I guess I’d ask other people, it’s give me the opposite end of this discussion to tell me that the eSports business model is good, right on the right track and performing really well.
Matt Zahab For those who are unaware of the model, like give us the give us the TLDR what’s going on and why it’s broken.
Darren Glover Yeah, it’s rescanning traditional sports. It’s like, oh, so there’s this hobby that a lot of people love to play on their own, oh, there’s people that are competing competitively with this hobby, why don’t we create a team, and then have our own team compete against a bunch of other teams, and then we can call that a league. And then we are going to pay these players like a lot of money for and they have no protection, there’s they could get fired tomorrow, or we can keep them on, there’s a lot of wishy washy understanding of how much protection the players have on each one of these teams, we’re going to then monetize our team with brand sponsorship dollars, that’s going to be a main source of revenue, we’re gonna go out and raise a ton of money from a ton of venture capitalist funds. And then we’re going to say that our competitive tournaments from the Media Rights, we’re going to over inflate how many people actually watch and care about these broadcasts. And then we’re gonna go out and make, like, basically false promises to a ton of people about all this value that they get to be involved in our broadcasts. And that’s the way everything happened. Because they thought that eSports was going to become as big as the NFL, and the NBA, and all these other places, not realizing that similar to how we started the conversation around social media influencers, digital is oversaturated. There’s so many distractions, when I’m online watching stuff, live viewership, is very difficult. So anyway, I don’t want to just start ranting but and I’m obviously tongue in cheek with how I approach the traditional model. But it’s very much the way that the NFL and the NBA and the MLB is that a lot of people thought on this kind of initial boom of eSports in the late teens have a lot of money being raised to think that you can just create this league of teams that play competitively and you’ll be able to make 10s of millions of hundreds of millions of dollars from that. And I think over a five to seven year runway now we’ve realized that traditional business model of teams leagues and sponsorships does not work if that’s it. That’s really all you’re basing these teams, leagues, and sponsorships if that’s your revenue model. It doesn’t work in this economy of scale like, this is not the way that eSports can grow. It’s not working.
Matt Zahab What would you do? What would you do differently? If you were let’s pick a massive game that.
Darren Glover Darren Glover eSports League.
Matt Zahab Yeah, you’re the you’re the head of. You’re the CEO of the Dglove. You know, the D, the DGL the Dglove League. It’s the sports league in North America, fuck North America and the whole world. You got a bunch of Fortnite, COD, League of Legends, FIFA, Madden, you name it. What do you do? How do you make it?
Darren Glover Well, no, because that, well, that’s not a thing right now, you just said something that isn’t real that I think could be interesting. There isn’t a league that has multiple game titles inside of the league.
Matt Zahab Why are all leagues just singular game titles, though?
Darren Glover That is what I Tweeted. There isn’t an NC that there isn’t a governing body over all eSports leagues every eSports League is its own league.
Matt Zahab It’s just seems like it’s ripe for disruption. Like, why not though, you know, and especially if that governing body can give more exposure to everyone.
Darren Glover Because everyone thinks that each game titles eSports League is going to be like the NFL, NBA and MLB. So if you compare LCS to the NFL, that it’s like SMCs Fortnite would be the NBA, you’d have ALGS, which is a pet like, that’s the way that they’ve raised money and created this industry is that this game, these game titles, eSports leagues are going to be at a scale of these leagues of these sports. That’s the way that they’ve raised money, which then made the eSports orgs, crazy valuable, because they have teams in every one of those leagues. So it’s like, well, the eSports orgs are going to be valued at 200 plus million dollars, if their housing I mean, imagine a company right now that owned the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Minnesota Wild and the Minnesota Twins under one group, and they were all called the Minnesota, whatever, Wolverines. And like, if they all were the Minnesota Wolverines in in all three of those sports, the entity that owned all of them will be worth billions of dollars. That’s the model right now that the eSports org is building underneath is you’ve got your eSports org. So you’ve got just use Team Liquid because they just got rid of their Apex Team, so it’s top of mind, this is not insight knowledge, I have no understanding of anything they’re doing. I’m just using them as the example. If you have Team Liquid is sitting on top, and they have teams in each one of those leagues, it would be like that would be Team Liquid will be worth billions of dollars, if that’s the moderate. But there isn’t a governing body as like what I had in my Tweet, I think that will be interesting to explore what a centralized governing body now that we know that each one of these competitive leagues is not going to be worth a billion dollars, and that they’re only going to be worth $50 million. And like, that’s okay, I think it’s again, setting expectations. It’s like, that’s okay, like, it’s every competitive game right now, has a great passionate community underneath it. And I feel like with all these teams leaving in this, that and all these other things happening, it’s as if eSports isn’t fibrin eSports is amazing. It’s just there’s been false expectations, the bar has been set so high that nobody can hit it. So there’s such a negative. There’s just negative feedback. And negative recourse when you set your bar, if you set your bar too high, and you can’t reach it, that means that you failed. So let’s set let’s like refresh. And we set our bar less reasonable realistically, so that we can hit it, and we can exceed it. And it’s not stretch goals with these vanity metrics that we’re pulling from, but I think a governing body would be an interesting entity to explore that there’d be that Darren Glover League and association, and it would house LCS, ALGS, FNCS yes, these leagues would live inside. And because you have that you have different governing mechanisms that you would institute with each one of those leagues. But then you’d have underneath that the Players Association, and you’d have a governing body Players Association that supports players from each one of those leagues. So you have a Players Association, and you have the ownership group. I think that would be an interesting entity that you could create that just like we did with NFTs the last couple years. It’s like a trillion dollars gets invested into this industry that nobody understands. And now we’re in a bear market, and it’s like, are we in a bear market? Or are we just trimming away all the BS that everybody kind of predicted anyways in the industry? That’s how I felt it’s a little bit like a analogy of what happened with eSports like a kind of a couple of things happen. And then they went really well. And it floods and tons of institutional capital went into it. And people saw money and gold. So they just kept going got into the industry. So it wasn’t built, like organic. It was built organically when nobody knew about it. But then as soon as you hit that mechanism of like, whoa, like, what’s that about a ton of people running because they want to make a ton of money. And they put money in faulty categories of business models. That might not make sense. But you’re in such belief of that end outcome. Again, it’s not a successful process. Like that’s what people didn’t build against, in my opinion, that maybe there’s like a refresh that has to happen. Or maybe there’s a couple of games that can collide together, kick it off, and if it works, start the Big Alliance. Yeah, I don’t know.
Matt Zahab History is history for a reason. Like it happened in the NHL, right. It happened with professional hockey. It happened in the NFL, I’m not as switched on with the NFL, but I do believe there was an AFL and NFL merger, right. That was the thing.
Darren Glover Yeah, like, you know, yeah, I’m a little familiar, but I know that they’re two weeks that like came together.
Matt Zahab Maybe a couple of the big boys make vows gotta get together and combine forces and create a big party, create the parade, get the train going. Interesting. Very interesting. Another Tweet that you had that because they were buzzing on the Twitter subject, there was absolute goal of your Tweet goes and this is so classic. And this is someone who is quote unquote, lactose intolerant, you know, still consumes cheese in the dairy product from time to time, but your quote goes as follows. The dairy industry is the most successful marketing campaign heard this a couple of times after I read that I literally had a solo chuckle I logged by myself, and I was like, these fuckers have is all drinking milk. It’s so bad for you humans can’t digest that. And their goal, my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs professional hockey team, we have the friggin milk sponsor, literally. There’s milk on the jerseys. It’s bananas. What made you Tweet this? Were you like eating a bowl of cereal or some and you’re like? What am I doing? Well, what was the inspo?
Darren Glover Yeah, I looked in my fridge. And I just realized I had cream cheese, butter, milk. And ice cream is one of those things where I was like, because I look at each individual item. Oh, and I had cheese, I’m sorry. So it’s like I had these items in my fridge. And they’re all from one industry. And then I looked at everything else. And I was like, I haven’t I have nothing else of this magnitude from one individual industry. Like I have like my box of brown rice. But that’s grain like that’s it. I guess you could maybe say like bread but like, that’s a function like it’s more functional. I feel like bread, but it’s like, yeah, to me, it’s like the dairy. It’s one industry that is spun up from one product, all these different other products, like its milk. And from that milk, you’re creating this menu of different items. And over the last 100 years, our entire society, even when you think of like, when you think of a stereotypical fridge? It’s like, milk, butter, the cheese, and eggs. It’s like milk, butter, cheese and eggs to me. And it’s like, eggs are kind of that outlier. That like, the poultry is like maybe a little bit of secondary the fact that like we’re cracking open eggs, like unhatched eggs and eating them. Like that’s a whole another comp, except to me, that’s wild. We’re not even eating the meat. Like we’re eating these like, baby. You know what I mean? It’s like, what? So I guess it’s also it’s like a great example of like marketing and advertising that like I love to like think but think about and like the narrative I had that in my bio. Well, that I you just, I mean, you read that in my bio, and it’s why I have it in my bio. I love behavior. I love messaging, I love communication. If an industry based on the companies that sold those products have created this wild narrative in such a successful way that as a society nationally, we have become totally comfortable with cracking open unborn chickens and eating them as a staple of our diet. And you crack eggs in the cake. I mean, cracking unborn chickens, is a part of so many food items. So the fact that’s okay for us to consume and eat and people are comfortable with that as a society as a whole, to me, is awesome marketing. We’re not even thinking about it. As we’re cracking these things open. Milk is the same way to your point. It’s like anyone who dives into milk and like really thinks about it. It’s wild that we’re in this billion trillion dollar industry of all these different household items are from the teat of another animal. It’s like why crazy? How has this even happened and how are we still doing but like, let’s think about it.
Matt Zahab Dglove, think about when you’re a kid too. Like I remember being in school kids drink your milk and makes your bones strong. Like, that’s pounded into your brain from such a ripe age too.
Darren Glover Yeah, I mean, a ripe age all the way into college like I had a visit to a school and the main in our in this huge workout facility. My son Mills was like going on my official visit. No, no, no, it wasn’t even muscle milk. It was just chocolate milk. Chocolate milk was the drink that you’re supposed to drink for, like the protein aspect, and like the sugar freeze concept, and it was great. Like, man, I drank, I made chocolate milk, the goat, just gallons on gallons of chocolate milk and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches is that but yeah, from a milk aspect. I love seeing those elements of if we can sell society on this product, like whatever I’m working on, you know, one of those kinds of moments or like whatever I’m working on to sell is way easier, and selling a society to consume all these different products from the teat of a cow.
Matt Zahab They did it, I can do it. In today’s media cycle. There’s 95% noise and 5% signal. It’s an absolute shitshow. You also brought this up a couple of minutes ago, 10, 15 minutes ago. There’s so many distractions. How do you in the team find new and innovative ways to reach consumers in your field? It’s so difficult, but you guys are so good at it. You guys constantly get your athletes and your gamers and streamers at the top of people’s minds front of people’s minds in their faces. How do you guys do it? What’s the secret sauce?
Darren Glover I think number one is there is like an innate understanding of culture on social media. It’s like we all we all follow people that just get how to talk Twitter. And it makes you laugh. Or people that know how to rope you into those stupid threads that you end up with. Yeah, they just get it. And like that’s just a Twitter example. Well, that’s contextual across all of social media, there are people that just get TikTok, they just understand the communication of TikTok, well, there’s a specific way to communicate.
Matt Zahab To get what the people want.
Darren Glover Yeah, it’s one of those elements of, and I’ve started over the last couple months to talk about it that way is talking about it as a language. Each social media platform has a language that works. And I think that’s important to think of platforms like different languages, because that then you start to think of the way that you, you know, I was just in Paris for this ledger event. And it’s like, there’s a culture, it’s like the language, it’s like, there’s a there’s a different Paris is different than Minneapolis, Minnesota where I live. And it’s like, well, why and I can name off all these different elements of like, what makes it different. It’s the same thing with social media platforms. So anyways, like what makes it work. One, there’s never a secret sauce, secret sauces don’t exist. Two, there’s a language that you just have to understand, or start to invest your time into learning about the language inside of these platforms and staying up to date on it. And three is just sheer volume of content, the more content that you can put out the more learnings that you’re going to find out about what works and what doesn’t, that’s internal, the more content that you put out, the more opportunities, you have to have a successful piece of content. So as to value adds to posting more content that both are just as valuable. And you need the peanut butter with the jelly. Like you can’t just have one or the other.
Matt Zahab So you’re obviously on the Gary Vee mantra, just crank out content left, right and center when you have the free time. Why wouldn’t you?
Darren Glover Yeah, but it’s like, you know, and it’s like, and I get it because it’s like you’re saying that little tongue in cheek and it’s like my sense of personality to do that. But when you when you say it practically. It’s like, Why do you think that you should just have to post once every week? Why would that work? Yeah, I guess it’s like my response to a lot of people that like, has conversation with Jonah Blake. I don’t know maybe some of your listeners know about I’ve ever talked about Crypto. So it’s like funny I was on my mind. Like, it’d be like a Crypto, NFT, Web3 Convo. We’re talking about fucking milk and chickens. I was talking about I was talking with Jonah, about the same thing about like content creators and all that. And it’s that idea of like asking the question about that. But then the return answer being like, why wouldn’t you want to post more content? Like what’s the there is no downside in posting more content. So why not be on the pathway of just pushing yourself to post more content? It doesn’t make sense to think there is no downside. There is a downside to not posting enough content. There is no downside to posting more content.
Matt Zahab I mean, when you say in like that, it’s pretty friggin hard to find the I mean, I have no rebuttal.
Darren Glover Well, it’s unreal expectations though people want to do and that’s the whole like this whole hustle culture that somehow Gary has become the figurehead of isn’t right and isn’t true at all. Gary is very practical. because it’s all based on what your expectations are, if you want to make a million dollars a year, here’s how much work you have to put into it somehow. And that’s what Gary talks about. If you don’t want to make a million dollars a year, or if you hear how you make a million dollars and how hard you have to work, if that’s not something that you’re willing to do, then you have to lower your expectations. That’s totally fine. But somehow in the middle, people have hacked the communication line. I mean, I get hit with them all the time. I’m sure everyone gets hit with them, is it I made a million dollars doing two minutes of work a day, like that’s their go to Line? Well, that sets these unreal expectations that oh, there’s a secret sauce. There’s a way that I can only put two minutes of time in my day and also make a million dollars. So then when Gary comes in, and he’s yelling and screaming at you about working hard, your immediate mindset is, yeah, I want to do all that. But I’m trying to do it with the least amount of work is possible, rather than just understanding if I want that this is what I have to do.
Matt Zahab Yeah, so true. We’ve been buzzing on content for a while we will get into Crypto, the first couple of sports hot takes BIG3 Leagues, I friggin love this time of year. Well, not BIG3. But on top of the BIG3. We also have college ball for your college basketball coming up to midseason form. And we have college football championships with a BOWL SEASON. You’d love to see it. Dglove, give me your championship winner for the NBA, the NFL. And I guess he said you’re not a hockey guy. So I will not ask you at the NHL, but give me your basketball and football winners for this year. What do you got?
Darren Glover I’m going to pick the Bucks in the NBA. And the Vikings for the NFL.
Matt Zahab You think Kirk’s gonna take you the promise that?
Darren Glover That’s what I’m hoping for.
Matt Zahab Oh, he is a client right?
Darren Glover He’s a client, he is.
Matt Zahab Yeah, I guess you gotta pick the boy Kirk. Yeah.
Darren Glover I mean, he. Yeah.
Matt Zahab Speaking of content, he’s been electric in the content game with the chains on a plane and the grills he’s been world class.
Darren Glover Yeah. And he’s somebody that’s again, like he’s very much a not an in camera personality. And that’s like a that’s a decision that he’s made and which again, like look how successful Kirk Cousins is. And he doesn’t post live streams every day. He’s not streaming video games like he’s a family guy. He’s as wholesome as it gets. And he’s an amazing human being but to your point like that style of content if he was an in person would have been ridiculous for his career. It was awesome. Yeah.
Matt Zahab And like imagine if he and he never even really ran with it a whole lot. But imagine if he ran with like you like that? That was I started every time I see any content of heavy on you like that. It’s cool. It’s absolute cool.
Darren Glover I use that GIF all the time.
Matt Zahab It’s one of the old timers he’s Yeah, he’s quite a human being. Okay, so Bucks I do agree with you on the Bucks. I don’t think the Bucks can be beat maybe Celts, I do think the winner will come out of the east this year but it’s going to be one of those two guys for the NFL. Is this look like a wagon? I’m a Dolphins fan. I don’t think we have the glue to go all the way like a wagon man.
Darren Glover You guys are out.
Matt Zahab You know. Yeah. That’s pretty cool.
Darren Glover School bikes maybe.
Matt Zahab School bikes love it.
Matt Zahab Let’s go to Web3 for a bit. Web3’s a whole what gets you going about Web3 will fires you up about it for Web3 gaming? Not just Web3, but Web3 gaming will fires you up? What games are on your radar. Any other influencers besides our blood Brycent?
Darren Glover I mean, I’ll start with Web3 in general, with how I always start the story of when I was in college, which is 2010 to 2014. Yeah, 2010 2014 I think. When I was in college, in that four year period, I was reading business marketing books that were from like 2008 to 2012. Right. That’s kind of like the as the textbook gets written, it takes that time and process. So it was like early onslaught of social media and digital media. Social media was like the trendy thing that we learned about, but it was very heavy Google SEO, Google AdWords, that was the main source of marketing. It wasn’t content marketing, yet. It was more heavy promotional based marketing, where social media was just ads, because that’s like how behavior starts. But when I started to get into the higher levels of classes, and you started to learn about those early stages of like the South by Southwest when you would go to these conferences, and like, literally seeing the Mark Zuckerberg and evidence beagles and Jack’s of the world like walking around with their polos on trying to pitch this app that they have a bird and of an F and a college social media like all that stuff like that era to me is so cool that you could be at these conferences. And there are these people that are the future leaders of our free world and our unfree world of like, look at what we’re talking about right now all these companies were stinky college kids running around a conference trying to pitch their app, like, that’s where that arrow was, when I saw that I was like, with how much I love learning about behavior, and what people do and why they do it, and where they’re doing it and all that. I was like, Man, if I was around back, then I would have been able to pick these winners, I would have known that these companies were going to be successful, that, you know, young, dumb college kid, like just being excited about it. But I was like, FOMO it out of like, I missed, I missed the opportunity of these, like early stage, conglomerate giants that were changing the face of human behavior. I was like, very FOMO out. Because after when I graduated from like, 2013 14 16 17 what it was, there’s like, no, in my opinion, like real tech, consumer facing innovation. Everything was being built, like very techy. Like, I didn’t understand ecommerce that much like Shopify, maybe. But like, it’s that’s still wasn’t what excited me, it wasn’t a social media platform. So that’s just where I started from this idea of like, I always felt FOMO from that era, because I got introduced, when I joined Vayner into this idea of Web3, it excited me because it almost like reinvigorated that memory of me feeling FOMO from this elder era of tech innovation, to start to understand, well, wait a second. So there’s this new technology that you can build from. And I’m a gamer myself. So the behavior I understand, which is logging into this world, and buying these digital assets, and different skins and battle passes and tokens and coins and rewards and worlds. And I talk on Discord and like. So all the tools that I’m using right now, what if they were built on this new technology? What’s interesting? So you mean like, I could sell my skin in Apex to somebody? And then it’s like, Oh, you mean, it’s already happening? Because there’s already a black market right now that I can buy and sell my account. And like, Well, if there’s a market place, but it’s black market, I was like, Well, it’s kind of similar to like the legalization of marijuana, right? It’s like, it’s a big market. It’s just the government didn’t know how they were going to take their fair share a piece of it. Now it’s legal. So all these things is what I was thinking about. And that was really it with Web3, it was just a very innate, exciting, basic, simple understanding of there’s new technology that can create more value in today’s digital world with a digital centric consumer. Cool. I’m willing to learn more about that. Yeah, like that was it? It was like, when I was speaking down at the eSports Business Summit, and I’ve used it 100 times. Because it’s so right. I’m not a Web3 enthusiast to the level that it’s going to change the world. And I’m talking with rainbows and butterflies in this kumbaya landscape. Like, that’s not how I talk about Web3. I’m a practical guy. I like finding solutions to literal problems today. And that’s the way that social media was built on top of the internet, with connecting people and communities together across college campus it like they talked about, like you can find the actual solution that it gave to today’s worldly problems, or educated you that it wasn’t necessarily a problem. But that was an opportunity that made your life better. That’s how I look at Web3 today. And how I talk about Web3 gaming is there’s not this extra terrestrial world of Metaverse and Avatars and things that we’re all going to live and do all these crazy. It’s like, dude, like, Yeah, maybe. But we’re talking now 100 years from now that we’re going to be doing that like what’s what is tomorrow look like? And tomorrow is simple improvements on today’s life. And Blockchain technology can do that for the gaming industry. I think it just has to, again, expectations, just start small start very simple, basic and small. You know, it’s a Titanic that you’re moving with tech innovation, because everyone lives on the internet, like the speed of the way that Web2 was built on Web1 was so crazy, because it wasn’t the Titanic yet to where we are today. There weren’t as many people online 2001 as the were 2005 as a were 2010. Now, everyone’s online, everyone has a cell phone. Everyone is using these tools and instruments. So it’s gonna be even harder to move this industry to do something different if you don’t start very small. And it’s very easy to start very small, because you don’t have to sell new hardware, the hardest thing to do is to sell new expensive hardware. Blockchain technology isn’t offering you this brand new piece of hardware so to speak, you can change people’s perception and behavior digitally. Stop selling this dream in 100 years, and just slow roll your way to finding very niche behavior that they’re doing, and educate them on how this what you are creating and Web3, makes that faster, stronger, better, more valuable for their current daily life.
Matt Zahab Showing the value, dangling right in front of them, show that it’s attainable. Baby steps, rest takes care of itself. It’s good to spiel.
Darren Glover Correct.
Matt Zahab You’re bang on there. No, it’s very true. I feel like a lot of the 2022 has been the year where all of the not all but a good chunk. Hopefully a good chunk of the bad actors in the space have been fizzled out and people are finally realizing that the big change needs to happen. It’s happening. I even when Bryce was on the pod, we were discussing about sort of a death of Play-to-Earn, which I think is great for Web3 gaming as a whole. You got to start with a fun game and give it to the people and let them innovate. Iterate yourself, keep the train going and good things will happen. But I’m excited and it shouldn’t be a lot of fun. Dglove what a treatment. To conclude, you gotta give me a good Gary Vee story. You got to have at least a couple in the chamber. I’m sure you have one good one that comes to mind for us. Make the listeners half a year to put out put a cherry on the cake.
Darren Glover So one of the first times I met Gary was in 2017. At the Super Bowl, that was in Minneapolis, I think it was in 2017. As I’m telling the story.
Matt Zahab Is that the New England Atlanta?
Darren Glover Maybe, so yeah, so anyways, like the context of this, he put in the you know, put it in the bottom of the show notes. See, I’m a podcaster now, the context. So Tre Jones. He’s now the starting point guard for the San Antonio Spurs. Tre’s the younger brother of one of my best friends Tyus Jones, who’s the point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies. Tyus, the Jones family are very close to me. I know them very well. And this is when Tre was still in high school. And he was going into his senior year of high school, but he was the number one point guard in the country. So we were doing some fun content at my old agency, Tre came down was hanging out for the day, I set up this kind of powwow meeting between Tre Jones the number one point guard in the country. And DJ Skee, who was is a legendary DJ who’s originally from Minneapolis was in town for the weekend. And we’re just jamming on life in general doing one of the kind of the Gary Vee powwows. And that powwow led to all that this idea of like how much people want it, like what they have to do to go get it, but also like how easy it is. But you’re you have you have to do stuff that might be like not as contemporary is what everyone thinks. And that’s when Gary was big on the whole garage sale thing. So he started to go into this mix. And like the garage sale Craig’s Ville thing and you could see me laugh in this picture. He’s like talking about and all of a sudden he lifts up the desk that’s sitting in front of it. And he’s like you do this you get on the bus you sit down on the bus. Yeah, yeah, I started laughing and he looks at me and he goes, Yeah, people keep laughing you get up boom, sell it like he did his whole little spiel, but it was like, it was like a live performance of like, the way that I would watch Gary and you see this is very, like you’re watching it on YouTube. You’re watching it on Instagram, whatever. What does he like right person? And just like the energy and excitement of him picking up that chair. You can see very organically. That was not a fake laugh. I mean, I laughed. It made me laugh. So that was like the first time that I really met Gary in a Gary moment. And I mean, it was so good and made it up on a clip that was actually on Gary’s Instagram that he posted. That’s probably one of my favorite stories, Gary of just like how funny it was to see him do that. Yeah, that was a good one.
Matt Zahab He’s such an electric factory. Oh man. It’s content is it’s just it’s classic. Dglove what a treat man had so much fun doing this. Really appreciate you coming on and can’t wait for round two before then. And until then. Can you please let our listeners know where they can find you and VaynerSports online and on socials?
Darren Glover Yeah. VaynerSports all socials. VaynerSports, VaynerSports plural on every single platform, and then I’m @thisisdglove on every single social media platform and on Apex and on Call of Duty and on Fortnite and on Steam and every game engine so if you see that in the kill feed that is definitely me.
Matt ZahabWhat game are you the best at?
Darren GloverApex legends by far it’s the best video game right now on planet Earth.
Matt ZahabAre you nasty?
Darren GloverI’m good I don’t keep up like I have the highest I’ve ever made in ranked. I got masters I think I got masters season 11 or 12. So it’s I don’t know if you’re familiar with Apex at all, but it’s bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond, and then masters and the top 500 Masters players are Apex predators. So I made it into masters.
Matt Zahab Jeez, getting his reps in.
Darren Glover And then I sat down and was like, the hell with it.
Matt Zahab Yeah, love that. Dglove thanks a lot, man. Really appreciate this and can’t wait for the next one. Appreciate you.
Darren Glover Thanks man.
Matt Zahab Thanks, folks. What an episode with Darren Glover aka Dglove VP of gaming at VaynerSports. He was dropping so much knowledge bombs so many knowledge bombs I should learn how to talk folks if you enjoyed this episode, I hope you did please do subscribe it would mean the world to my team and I. Team, love you guys. Justas my music sound editor, you’re the GOAT appreciate you as always, until the listeners guys keep on growing those bags and keep on staying healthy on top. Bye for now. We’ll talk soon.