More and more NBA players investing in eSports teams and virtual gaming companies

Professionalism is one of the first and foremost requisites for any of the professions in this world. Professional athletes are referred as such because those lucky enough to play sports as a career not only need to excel on the field but also need to inculcate professionalism so that their performance to be as successful as they can — off the court too.

But after the end of the athlete’s professional career on the field where the body does not allow itself to do compete in the intense physical performances as their strength and fitness start reducing. Many athletes prepare for their lives after their sporting career by investing their resources into other industries.

About the eSports Industry in Brief

The eSports industry is such an area of virtual sports where lots of opportunities, investments and income have emerged since 2010. Previously it used to be a space for the non-professional gamers but in the second decade of the 21st century, it has turned into a battlefield of professional gamers. Many of the professional game developers have shown interest in it and have invested lots of money for the organizing of such competitions. People from other fields are not lagging behind. As an example, there are many basketball players who have invested in eSports and have owned some team of professional virtual gamers.

The eSports industry is expecting a huge capital inflow at the same time revenue of almost $900 million in recent years. If you are a big optimist, then the number can be as big as $2.4 billion for the year 2020. Goldman Sachs, who is known as a Wall Street giant, has estimated that the number of audiences will touch a monumental figure of 276 million with this recent trend of rocket growth. As per eSports betting insider, this huge opportunity of investment and exposure to the stakes has caught the eyes of investors from different fields. There are several renowned basketball players like Mark Cuban, Michel Jordan in the list of investors.

  • You may not know this, but Michael Jordan was one of the first NBA players that invested in eSports. Jordan is currently the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, but also owns a minor share of the Miami Marlins and invested in companies like Gigster and Muzik which are famous for their production of smart headphones. He stepped into the eSports industry for the first time when he led some investors when they put $26 million in a company named aXiomatic Gaming which used to organize competitions of gaming and also had a team named Team Liquid. As per Jordan, the eSports industry is a fast-growing industry of the international level. Team Liquid is one of the most famous organizers of eSports events in the global field.
  • Andre Iguodala and Stephen Curry were teammates on the Golden State Warriors. When it comes to on court play, Curry boasts two NBA MVP titles, but when it is a question of investment to eSports, Andre is the authority. Iguodala is the ambassador of NBA to the Silicon Valley and is also a leading name in investing in tech startups. Both players got their names involved in eSports in 2018 and both shared the membership of a team that invested $37 million to organize eSports TSM which is a competitive gaming team and was founded by Andy Dinh. He is the very person who has developed games like League of Legends and the Frontline. Team Solomid has got financed from both of them jointly and is the second most valuable eSports team.
  • The name that comes third in the series is Kevin Durant, whose name is well known as an active investor in the startup entities of Silicon Valley. He has his own company to look after the investment-related functions of the tech industry named Thirty-Five Ventures. The eSports investment is one of the names of his well-maintained portfolio. He joined a group of investors who put $38 million to the Vision eSports which manages the funds and investments of eSports and owned by a famous former NBA man Rick Fox. This company owns a team of eSports named Echo Fox along with the ownership of a content developer for eSports Vision Entertainment. But he with his companies was not the sole investors of eSports. There are other eminent names too like St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and of course Rich Kleiman who is Durant’s partner in his off court businesses.
  • There is a great interrelation between NBA and ESports as many of the NBA players have great interests in eSports. One of those eminent names in the field of basketball is Rick Fox whose team Echo Fox is one of the most famous names in eSports. Rick is one of the most successful businessmen among those who have played professionally for the LA Lakers and the Boston Celtics. Fox comes fourth in the ranking of eSports teams which was eventually founded due to the immense interests of Rick’s son.
  • Shaquille O’Neal is among those investors to eSports from the basketball field who initiated the sequence. He has some stake of the team NRG which has one of the best teams of eSports competitions.

Attracting the Youth Market

The NBA has a target to attract as many young fans to their league as possible. With the highlighting culture of their activities in social media, they are also investing their money to the eSports leagues which attract the gen Y most. They have not kept themselves confined to investments, but they also have made a game series named NBA 2K. They are also trying to expand the games in other countries too like China.

As per a report by CNBC, there can be a huge market of these virtual computer games as more than 300 million people are attached to basketball there. So from the interest generated for the famous basketball players, they also will contribute to increasing the viewership of the eSports tournaments. As there are huge opportunities for growth and expansion throughout the world, the industry of virtual gaming competition is growing to the sky like a rocket.

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