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Sat Jul 28, 2018, 12:01 PM

How Blizzard convinced sports billionaires to buy into the Overwatch League

ESPN has several reporters covering esports. This article on Overwatch is interesting http://www.espn.com/esports/story/_/id/24203693/how-blizzard-convinced-robert-kraft-other-billionaires-buy-overwatch-league

With 12 franchises based in 11 cities across the U.S. and around the world, OWL boasts founding families such as the Krafts (New England Patriots), the Kroenkes (Los Angeles Rams) and the Wilpons (New York Mets).

Why did these American sports titans invest millions in a brand-new esports league? Because there had never been anything like the Overwatch League before. It is the most ambitious esports project ever attempted -- a truly global league whose success could transform the gaming landscape once and for all.

To pull this off, Blizzard aggressively recruited traditional sports owners like the Krafts, and now, on the first day of the Overwatch League finals at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, that investment will reach its zenith. Here's the inside story of how Blizzard convinced one of the most successful owners in sports to join its very new, very risky venture.,,,,

ctivision Blizzard officially announces the first seven Overwatch League franchises, based in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Shanghai and Seoul. Among the new owners are the Wilpon family, owners of the New York Mets, as well as endemic esports organizations like NRG Esports, Immortals and Misfits, who between them have investment from owners of the Sacramento Kings, Memphis Grizzlies and Miami Heat.

This is a major business now.

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Reply How Blizzard convinced sports billionaires to buy into the Overwatch League (Original post)
Gothmog Jul 2018 OP
tazkcmo Jul 2018 #1
Gothmog Jul 2018 #2

Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 12:51 PM

1. Awful

I was at a sports bar for dinner and this was on several of the televisions. It was almost as bad as my dinner which I sent back, tipped my server a buck and left.

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2018, 05:38 PM

2. What do owners of the Patriots, Rams, Grizzlies and Flyers have in common? A big bet on eSports.

Esports is big business https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/what-do-owners-of-patriots-rams-grizzlies-and-flyers-have-in-common-a-big-bet-on-esports/2018/01/17/63e5a916-fac7-11e7-8f66-2df0b94bb98a_story.html?utm_term=.f6b9175337d1

The audience for eSports has surged in recent years and major investors have followed, including owners of traditional sports franchises seeking to reach a young audience traditional sports increasingly miss. Annual revenue has grown more than 40 percent over the past two years and is quickly approaching $1 billion, according to market research firm Newzoo. The International, the major tournament for the game Dota 2, featured a total prize pool of $24 million, with the tournament winners landing $10.8 million. Newzoo projects the total audience for eSports will approach 590 million worldwide by the year 2020.

So when a new league was being formed around Overwatch, a first-person shooter game, many investors couldn't wait to pay $20 million apiece to buy a franchise. Those included New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Stan Kroenke (Los Angeles Rams), Jeff Wilpon (New York Mets), Andy Miller (Sacramento Kings) and Comcast Spectacor (Philadelphia Flyers).

"It was one of the few times that we committed at the first meeting," said Kraft, who, along with his son Jonathan, owns the OWL's Boston Uprising. The Krafts, like other pro team owners, had been waiting to find a way into the eSports phenomenon. Not having found the right play, they decided to help build a new league. It was the same path they had taken with Major League Soccer as owners of the New England Revolution.

Sports teams, such as the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association, the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball and European soccer club Paris Saint-Germain have all sunk money into League of Legends eSports franchises and other popular gaming titles. Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Wizards in the NBA and Washington Capitals in the National Hockey League, also owns Team Liquid, one of the most prominent franchises in the e­Sports world.

Major League Soccer announced last week that it will launch an eSports league centered on the popular FIFA soccer video game, a similar undertaking to the NBA's upcoming league based on the NBA 2K franchise.

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