3 NFL Teams Entering eSports | THE NEXT LEVEL 032

Manny Anekal
Jul 21, 2016 · 4 min read
(Photo: EA)

My Take: Over two months ago in THE NEXT LEVEL 06 I analyzed traditional Sports entering the eSports space. Since then, we’ve seen continued investment from EU soccer teams like Valencia CF in La Liga and Manchester City in the EPL.

You’re going to see NFL teams make a move prior to the new season and Bloomberg confirms the same with 3 teams looking into eSports Athletes. The NFL doesn’t release team marketing budgets and I couldn’t find a direct expense line in the Green Bay Packers most recent financial statement. Regardless of knowing the actual dollars, this is an absolute no-brainer: The marketing ROI based on the Athlete expense is huge.

I’m even going to take this further and predict who could be the first 3 NFL Teams to sign Madden eSports Athletes:

  • San Francisco 49ers: Tech-forward team and where is Madden Publisher EA based?
  • Miami Dolphins: Via Owner Stephen Ross’s investment arm.
  • New England Patriots: Based on Owner Robert Kraft’s previous investments.

#Freebie to all the eSports Athletes I’m not speaking with already:

Now’s your time to get paid for years of hard work and don’t let the Publishers/Leagues take advantage of you.


(Photo: Riot)

My Take: Many people don’t realize that most arenas are not technically equipped to support eSports without a massive effort by the production team prior to the event.

The LA Times looked into this further but also other additions like new menu items, skewer food to avoid sticky fingers and letting fans re-enter events. There was one interesting stat:

MLG’s Counter-Strike Major at Nationwide Arena drove as much Food & Beverage sales per attendee as a Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Game.

While the exact dollar amount was not revealed, it did provide some guidance on eSports event revenue on top of tickets, merchandising, etc. Regardless, the eSports Event business is not a profitable one overall.


(Photo: Lima Sky)

My Take: In my first article on the eSports space last October ESPORTS. EVERYWHERE, I highlighted a few areas that would need expansion to further grow the industry.

One of these points was the need for Casual games vs. the hardcore titles like League of Legends or Counter-Strike. Developer Lima Sky recently announced the debut of their “eSports League” in Doodle Jump using technology from real-money gaming company Skillz.

While I do believe in the potential for Mobile eSports like Clash of Clans, I’m not sure if Doodle Jump is the game to jumpstart Casual eSports. There were no additional details on launch or if money will be required for the league but maybe take it easy on the PR headline of “Doodle Jump Set To Become World’s Next Big eSport”.


(Photo: Gemini)


My Take: I still can’t figure out the overlap between Gemini — a digital currency exchange founded by the Wilkenvoss twins — and Echo Fox which looks to “integrate Bitcoin payments into the eSports ecosystem”. Keep getting that Brand money though Rick. 👍 🎮 💰


My Take: Checking on E LEAGUE last week, I noticed that Domino’s has joined the eSports party. There was no formal announcement and I don’t believe this is Turner’s 4th brand exclusivity but still fantastic to see another major Brand on board. Also looks like this is Domino’s first move into eSports in the US having previously worked with ESL in Spain.

(Photo: ESL)

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