Alisa Jacobs is the Co-founder and CEO of the women-led company Queens Gaming Collective, a lifestyle business created by women for women. The company launched last November to level the playing field in a male-dominated industry.
“The Queens Gaming Collective is a game-changer for women because it’s going to show that there’s a lot of pretty women, beautiful women, and queens that can play games and do it all and not be judged to be doing it,” said WNBA Champion, Alexis Jones.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jacobs in a follow-up interview to discuss things they have planned this year at Queens Gaming Collective and her entertainment, sports, and business background.
Last year, you and the rest of your team launched Queens Gaming Collective. The company intended to even the playing field for women influencers in the gaming industry. One of the company’s influencers is WNBA champion Alexis Jones. Can you share how this partnership could help WNBA players supplement their income, so they do not have to go overseas in the offseason?
Alisa Jacobs: Alexis is an incredible queen. She is a WNBA Champion, and she is now a world champion playing overseas. I don’t think it is a secret that women in professional sports, including traditional sports like basketball, are drastically underpaid or paid less than men respectfully. So historically, for women to make real money, they must supplement their income with endorsement or overseas gameplay.
I do not think that is going to change overnight. Unfortunately, I think there is a much bigger industry-wide challenge that requires allyship and support. Their male counterpart sees men champion women increasingly in sports and entertainment at the highest level of instruction.
Alexis makes her bread and butter as an athlete and identifies as an athlete first. Although, she is a gamer-gamer and loves playing video games. She is very good at it, enjoys streaming, builds a community, collaborates, and competes. Building her brand as a gamer allows her another revenue stream. It also gives her access to an industry projected to be worth $190 billion by 2021.
So, It is not necessarily a substitute for other forms of income. Still, I think it’s a supplement and an opportunity to recruit an audience, build community, and connect with youth and global viewership. It really is helping by monetizing hobbies, building brands, and creating opportunities for ownership.
In a recent interview with Games Beat, you shared that Queen’s Gaming Collective is primarily a media and management company. Could you see the company sharing women’s stories through digital media and in the film world?
Alisa Jacobs: Absolutely! Queens Gaming Collective is a personality-driven media company at its core. It has the management of 22 diverse women gamers, who are equity partners. They are shareholders in the business and brand partners that we work with on developing their brands, beyond just pay-to-play or transrectal brand partnership.
The Media side is creating original programming for our own and operated channels and another form of media. So, we do have film and television development, both scripted and non-scripted. Both digital and traditional media are already underway as part of the concept of the thesis of the content studio.
We are also a merchandising company. We have IP beyond media for productization and will be dropping our first apparel collection in July, and it is an anything but merch drop. We are also developing games for the Roblox platform and beyond. I also want to say that these women have stories, as you said. Stories can be shared on a lot of different platforms through a lot of different vehicles.
So, to me being a marketer at the core and having a background in innovation, PR, marketing, brand development, events, and partnerships experience, there is a huge opportunity to tell at every consumer touchpoint whether it is a good or a service, or media. So, we look at it as absolutely telling their stories for them and by them in social, digital, and metaverse gaming.
Still, I also agree that there is an opportunity to tell it in film and television. Also in consumer products, apparel and retail, technology, and so many verticals and vehicles. To me, it is all storytelling. It just depends on how you consume it.
You have a diverse background in music, gaming, sports, and entertainment. How do you see the emergence of NFT’s leveling the playing field across the board?
Alisa Jacobs: I think NFT’s are an incredible space, and what I really like about the NFT community is that it is incredibly tribal. They are incredibly supportive of each other. It is a creator economy that decentralizes and democratizes much of what we know in the art collectable space. I love that this intersection of music and art and a bit of an ecosystem bring everyone together.
As it relates to gaming, I think it is incredibly relevant and a lot of what NFTs, which is a non-fundable token, which is the ideal of a rare item one of one, and the idea of purchasing it digitally. So, when you think about gaming tokenization or microtransaction, or being able to purchase in-app or in games historically, whether that is a skin like a wardrobe for an avatar or access. OG gaming is the originator of the NFT space in many ways.
So, I absolutely think that they will go hand in hand, and it is very new in many ways. So, there are many tests and lessons that need to happen to make sure that it is sustainable, democratized, and face guard for the community. But I would love to see the momentum and normalization of digital culture or what I call an e-culture because it opens the invitation to the wider community, whether that is gaming NFTs, blockchain, and the Bitcoin arena in this shared metaverse.
So, I think it is fascinating, and there is a lot to learn. I also think it is a little bit of a grab. All there will be those that rise to the top and those that fall off. There will be staying power and those who do not like many people in different communities, but I watch it closely. I think it is interesting how compelling the brands have leveraged the space and how they show up.
Are there any Queen’s Gaming Collective plans to launch any NFTs in the next couple of months?
Alisa Jacobs: We do not plan to launch our own NFTs in the next couple of months as we are focused on dropping our merch and developing our gaming strategy and product, but it is on our radar. We are doing a lot of due diligence for responsibility frankly as mentioned, there are concerns with the footprint and sustainability, protection, and provision for the community, and making sure it is a truly democratize eco-system and economically inclusivity for creatives and collectors, which is core and the nucleus of the company. So, when and if we do NTFS, it would be incredibly thoughtful and not rushed.
Back in December, you were a part of the Music Gaming Con panel and touched on fighting against gatekeepers. What do you look for when hiring potential full-time employees or interns?
Alisa Jacobs: That is a great question, and it is a great question because we are actively hiring. I am happy to throw that out there because we are looking for best-in-class talent that cares. So, we have several job openings at the executive and mid-level. We are ramping up quickly and really excited to expand the team. When looking for something personal, I am really looking for intellectual curiosity, grit, and work ethic. I say this: I love passion, grit, curiosity, and look for it for a reason; passion means that you care. I always ask where you get your energy because I do not ask what you are good at; I do not ask about your strength and weakness.
As a former executive recruiter, a former career coach, and a trained person at every business level. Arrogantly, I feel confident that I can support the growth and development functionally for people. So, I careless how good you are at one thing unless it is truly a tactical job. I care more about whether this keeps you up at night and feels expansive or contracted when you think about it. What gives you energy and what excites you about your job is that I advocate for economic inclusivity and democratization access professionally and monetarily.
As opposed to just optics and what looks like from a transaction or representation level, it is because you cannot afford to do what you love. Then you do not necessarily get to do what you love every day, so it is nice to have this ideal, luxury, and this privilege to like your job, but being able to empower people to enjoy the culture and the capacity and what they are being measured by is a dream for me. That is one of my life goals for those who work with me and a much larger community and global community to pursue what they love and be paid for it. So, care, character, culture, and have passion. If you are curious, smart, and dynamic, you will always have a job.
What is next for Alisa Jacobs as a brand?
Alisa Jacobs: It is an interesting question, and I do not know if I have ever been asked that before. On a personal level, I have never really thought about my personal brand in full transparency, and now as a venture back CEO and Founder. I had to think about it more than ever because you are bigger than yourself. You are representing something bigger than yourself, and suddenly the optics matter. I represent and portray matters, so where I have been fortunate is I am incredibly authentic, and I know everybody says that, but I say that to a fault.
I do not have many filters and openness in my professional and personal life, both socially and IRL. I am very passionate and vocal. So, my personal brand has been a result of my personality. It has been about being the Trojan horse in every setting that I have ever been in as a white woman in a multicultural business setting. I found it incredibly important to be the squeaky wheel and to be the voice of reason and someone that holds feet to the fire.
Also encouraging accountability for big brands, businesses, corporations, but also individuals. I spent a lot of time off the clock and the record helping coach fellow professionals, and executives who want to do better and do care. However, they do not know where to start, and their own self-interest has often resulted in gatekeeping, as we talked about. It is nepotism; it is not even intentional gatekeeping; it is utterly nepotism and not paying attention.
I think the starting part is not about branding, but it is about representation as far as how important it is no matter your race, gender, status, power, and voice level to raise it to be the person with your hand up. In any setting and any room, make sure you are building a bigger table to make sure you are opening the door and dropping the kickstand, right?
Because if you are not consciously thinking about it, it is straightforward to go on autopilot and in certain industries, including gaming, because there has been limited access to entry. It is sometimes harder to find the right folks, and it takes longer, whether that is recruiting talent and executives; it takes longer because there has not been that same pool.
I think being commented on is a big part of that, and I think more on a personal level because that is more of a professional brand and personal commentary. Still, as a personal brand, I think I am more interested in helping lead the charge in a more meaningful way. Whether that is public speaking, ensuring that Queens is the gatekeeper that leaves the gate open, we really position ourselves as your go-to for women and diverse creators.
We are all about collaboration over competition. I think that is not next but a continuation of my personal brand. I have never been afraid of competition or being left out. I really operate from a position of collaboration over competition and culture over everything. I do believe there is enough space, money, and seats at the table. I would rather bring people together and do more.
Friendly rivalry breeds excellence, but when it comes to working with brand partners, other organizations, encouraging women to operate with each other, and others in the space, it is about community building. The legacy that I want to leave is around the community and economic inclusion. So, the only way to do that is if I am actually showing up.