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D&H Distributing, a major provider of SMB, mid-market, and consumer technologies to the North American channel, has organized a new “Components and Gaming” Business Unit around its esports, PC gaming, and integrated components for customized PCs and computing systems.
This new initiative involves investments such as the hire of sales leaders and industry authorities to support escalating opportunities in these areas, especially in the education vertical. The new leaders to spearhead D&H’s Components and Gaming Business Unit include former Samsung sales veteran Chris Geiser; Esports Sales Specialist Brandon Beyer; industry Esports Consultant Bubba Gaeddert, Founder of the Varsity Esports Foundation; and Esports Program Manager Logan Hermes, of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE).
Other offerings encompass installation and pre-/post-sales support from the Professional Services and Sales Enablement teams, plus partner opportunities such as an esports solutions panel at the April THREADcast virtual engagement, which was hosted by D&H along with Xbox, Dell, and Asus.
In addition, D&H has developed a step-by-step “Playbook” on launching an esports business, plus customizable marketing collateral, all of which will be available throughout the U.S. and Canada.
D&H’s esports portfolio includes prebuilt systems, gaming consoles, broadcast equipment, professional design and install services, and furniture; plus components, peripherals, and accessories such as high-performance motherboards, graphics cards, controllers, keyboards, and joysticks. The categories encompass high-end embedded components that add value for custom-built computers and integrations in a range of verticals.
D&H will help partners secure tournament licenses that will allow schools to compete in organized events, along with all of the tools partners would need to implement full-fledged gaming programs on the high school and collegiate levels.
“As it stands, only 10 per cent of K-12 schools are competing in Varsity-level esports tournaments, yet the sport itself is growing exponentially,” says Peter DiMarco, Vice President of VAR sales at D&H. “This creates a ground-floor opportunity, where 90 per cent of the education community is open for deployments. D&H is directing considerable resources to help partners add this discipline to their core competencies including VAR, retail, and DMR partners.
“We’ve gone into the esports community,” adds DiMarco, “to align ourselves with organizations with expertise in this area and are proud to welcome more of those professionals into the fold at D&H. Together, we’ll help our partners profit and expand as the category accelerates.”
In his new role, Chris Geiser, Senior Director of Components and Gaming Sales, will lead a team of sales experts focused on driving sales initiatives and enhanced customer focus in the PC gaming and components marketplace. He comes to D&H from a sales director position at Samsung, where he was responsible for B2B SSD sales. Geiser launched Samsung’s system integrator business development and sales team, targeting custom PC builders, DMRs, resellers, and integrators. He has worked with several system builders and integrators and led vendors and OEMs including Veritas, Google, Dell, and CyberPower.
“The potential for esports and gaming has applications beyond just the education sector,” says Geiser. “The market will continue to expand as it aligns to the massive growth of virtual engagement across the public and corporate sectors. Many organizations are leveraging gaming solutions for engaging associates, testing, and attracting new customers.
“We’ll be initiating sales through channels including VAR, system builder, DMR, retail, and consumer electronics,” he continues. “These are markets where D&H has had a traditional stronghold, bringing this prospect to a greater range of partners. I look forward to accelerating D&H’s momentum in this category.”
Brandon Beyer, Senior Sales Specialist, will support the gaming and components sales initiative, leveraging his experience in business development and account management that spans areas such as esports, IT solution sales, networking, public sector business, technical support, and customer service. This includes previous sales positions with gaming laptop manufacturer MSI and a global IT solution provider. He is currently an EEN-certified esports specialist with a “relationship-first” sales strategy.
“D&H’s new business unit is positioned for success like few other sales organizations in the channel,” comments Beyer. “The company has built-up a profound amount of resources for partners, earning a head-start by aligning with organizations in the field so early in the esports lifecycle. I’m excited to join the team at D&H, continuing my work in developing this high-potential market. I’m truly looking forward to working with the company in a vertical where leadership has devoted such an admirable focus.”
Bubba Gaeddert, D&H Esports Ambassador (consultant), is the Executive Director and founder of the Varsity Esports Foundation, where he partnered with D&H Distributing and other industry associations to establish the channel’s first esports certification program for partners. He continues to support the scholastic esports ecosystem through education, grants, literacy, networking, and advocacy. He has coordinated with D&H creating online video and on-demand esports certification courses exclusively for D&H partners. Gaeddert’s contacts extend to educators, administrators, athletic directors, student athletes, scholastic esports leagues, vendors, and channel partners. He will deliver market insights and support to help D&H’s specialists meet the unique and evolving esports needs of the K-12 and higher ed sectors.
Comments Gaeddert: “Esports is a fantastic opportunity for channel partners and educational institutions to collaborate on something that goes beyond just competitive gaming. The creation of an entire curriculum around esports can engage team members in all aspects of this category, from hardware to branding and marketing. I’m ready to engage more closely with D&H to drive adoption at the high school and college level from a more practical and technological standpoint.”
In the newly created role of Esports Program Manager, Logan Hermes will execute D&H esports growth strategies and relationships, forging partnerships within the channel and manufacturer communities. His background includes a wealth of B2B experience and extensive work in program strategy, planning, budgeting, and execution. He will spearhead efforts in emerging markets to foster new growth. Hermes has worked with the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) chairing their eligibility enforcement committee. He is also head of operations for Minnesota Esports Club in Minnesota.
“D&H’s rich portfolio of resources will deliver everything required to serve as a strategic, knowledgeable esports advisor for partners in this space,” says Hermes. “Our Sales Enablement and Professional Services teams have real-world expertise and industry prowess that will help education and commercial partners not only assemble cutting-edge solutions, but teach them how to create demand, leverage available funding, and navigate this vertical’s sales cycles, supporting them right through to the installation phase.”