Why the NBA, NFL and MLS Are Trying to Compete With Established Esports Leagues


Date & time May 30 '18
Event ends May 31 '22
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It’s no secret esports is booming as mainstream media brands like ESPN and Turner Broadcasting sign on—all with the eye toward reaching teenagers and the advertisers that may follow. But for your most part, the bulk of Madden NFL Mobile Coins to be drawn to Amazon’s Twitch and YouTube, streaming the less brand-friendly, first-person shooter games like Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch. But now professional sports leagues are starting to partner with Twitch, and also cable nets ESPN2 and Disney XD, and so are ushering brands to the burgeoning esports space. With 2 billion gamers in the world and 385 million serious about watching esports, gaming has huge potential.

That’s why professional sports leagues such as NBA, NFL and MLS operate with game publishers to develop their own leagues and score several of the $906 million in revenue projected just for this year, in accordance with Newzoo, an esports survey firm. Pro sports leagues see two advantages of the new franchises: attracting a broader range of advertisers and building out their brands.

MLS senior director of properties and events James Ruth said diving into your gaming space constitutes a lot of sense to the younger-skewing audience. Ruth said roughly 65 percent of avid MLS followers became fans of soccer by means of EA Sports’ FIFA, the industry higher percentage compared to those who became MLS fans by actually playing the activity. “As we keep think about the channels we've got available to us to make our next generation of fans, gaming is basically important to that,” said Ruth. Many MLS players are gamers themselves, and knowning that in mind, “It’s only natural for MLS to utilize gaming to be a conduit to Madden Mobile Accounts, or different touch points with fans,” said Ruth.

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