Dan Murphy’s, BWS Owner Invests $3m In Sydney e-Sports Venue To Target Millennial & Gen Z Gamers

Dan Murphy’s, BWS Owner Invests $3m In Sydney e-Sports Venue To Target Millennial & Gen Z Gamers

Endeavour Group has invested $3 million into Fortress Sydney, a soon-to-open e-sports venue in Sydney as it looks to target consumers more familiar with pub lobbies than pubs and bars.

Endeavour Group is Australia’s biggest drinks retailer and owns Dan Murphy’s, BWS and heaps of hotels and pubs. It has purchased just under 5 per cent of Fortress, the company which owns the soon-to-open site in Chippendale, and Fortress Melbourne, which opened in 2020.

“I think Fortress is about creating, for us, the hospitality venue of the future,” said Paul Walton, interim managing director of Endeavour-owned Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group (ALH).

Walton added that many consumers aged between 18 and 40 enjoyed social games to some capacity.

“They socialise digitally at home at the moment through gaming, but they also socialise in our hotels, and hospitality. This is really a chance for us to invest in a company that’s bringing those two experiences together.”

Fortress Australia does not have a gambling side to its business but Adrian Giles, former chairman of ORDER Esports, who leads the business with Jon Satterley a former executive at theme park company Village Roadshow, said that Endeavour Group was a “great strategic fit” for Fortress.

“The tavern is as much about eating and drinking as well as board games … A big part of Fortress is hospitality,” he said. “[Endeavour] also have a focus on social experiences, which is exactly what Fortress offer: a social experience around gaming and games culture.”

Fortress Sydney has seating for 240 diners across its almost 3,000 square metre site along with an e-sports arena for gaming tournaments, video game booths, arcade games, VIP console suites, board game areas, and a Telstra lounge featuring expensive Alienware gaming PCs.

“We can create smaller versions of Fortress that could be relevant inside hospitality venues, and that’s part of the strategic opportunity that’s in front of us with working with Endeavour,” added Giles.

Endeavour will also support the Fortress founders by sharing hospo expertise industry, said Walton.

“Another thing we’re aware of [Millennials and Gen Z] is the repertoire they have: experience really resonates strongly with them,” added Walton.

“They tend to have a large repertoire in both venues they like to visit, occasions they like to participate in, and products they like to consume.”




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