Thank You Amit Raizada - VFD eSports Turns One

April 10, 2017

A little over one year ago, the fortunes of our company would forever change, and it could not have happened if not for one man, Amit Raizada. 

Let's rewind for a moment: Since 2012, I've served as the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of VFD Marketing, a boutique marketing agency based in Miami whose roots are in fighting...Ultimate Fighting to be exact. While my partners and I rode a wild wave that came to include event marketing, modeling, extreme sports, and even electronic dance music, we always challenged ourselves to be able to put our fingers on the ever-evolving pulse of the 18-24 year old demographic. This was our stated goal, and thanks to Amit, we were able to discover the holy grail of marketing to that demo....esports.

I met Amit through my brother and partner, Daniel, who had a mutual friend with Amit. It was at that time when Amit and Rick Fox had just purchased the NALCS slot belonging to team Gravity, which they rebranded as Echo Fox. While the team purchase occurred, I had just been introduced to the world of esports through one of our employees, who adamantly told us it was the next big thing. When I finally got to meet with Amit, I came away a believer. 

Amit has an incredible track record of not only betting big, but betting right. Throughout his life, he's been an entrepreneur, a deal-maker and most importantly, someone who does what they say, which is rarer and rarer in this day and age. 

I first met with Amit and Rick at Amit's home, and once they explained the lay of the esports landscape, it became clear to me that VFD could play an important role in the growth of Echo Fox, and the esports world in general. This was not as easy as it seemed however. Where I was used to dealing with an explicit set of rules and regulations (like the UFC has), the world of esports was a true Wild West frontier. That's when Amit's tutelage became crucial. 

Amit laid out a clear path for VFD; one where we could take the best practices from our traditional sports marketing business and apply it to this new world. While we had paperwork to sort through before making things official, both sides agreed to hit the ground running, as Echo Fox was already in the midst of their inaugural season. A simple handshake with Amit and Rick would suffice, and Daniel and I were off to work. 

After getting our first sponsors on board, Amit helped us refine our pitches, target the right deliverables, and ensure that VFD's foray into the esports world would be a successful one. One year later, it feels like we have been working together since the beginning of time. Echo Fox may be a client of VFD's but VFD is a member of team Echo Fox. I've had the privilege of working closely with the Echo Fox staff and roster of over 40 of the best video game players on the planet. 

In the year we've been working together, I'm proud to say that VFD has helped Echo Fox expand into 10 different esports, manage blue chip sponsorships, and help position Echo Fox to be the premier esports organization in the world. 

As exciting as this past year has been, I look forward to broadening my horizons with Amit, Rick, Stratton Sclavos, Jace Hall and the entire Vision Venture Partners team that has been assembled to help lead the way in defining the esports ecosystem.

Thank you, Amit.

-Elie