The Growth and Evolution of the Esports Business Landscape
October 08, 2021
By Brett Vinokur
To fans of professional gaming, the growth and evolution of esports come as no surprise. It is, however, often worth revisiting partnerships that take place to illustrate just how drastic the growth has transformed a still-emerging industry.
In September 2021, Misfits Gaming Group announced a $35 million investment round led by American broadcast company E.W. Scripps Company. Commentary from both Misfits and Scripps seeks to build synergies for each company, both located in Florida, in both the media and entertainment arenas.
Scripps foray into esports is part of a new trend of investment and partnership that extends beyond what has taken place historically. Traditional esports partnerships included investments by companies in and around the professional gaming space: PC and peripheral manufacturers and game development studios being the first to invest sponsorship dollars into esports.
As esports continued to grow, the investments made by interested parties include many names familiar to fans of traditional sports: American Express, Anheuser Busch, Coca Cola and Red Bull. These investment opportunities legitimized professional gaming for many spectators. An influx of new investment dollars, along with partnerships and acquisitions from traditional sport franchise owners and professional athletes, would quickly follow.
Today, esports continues to be an area rife for new investment opportunities from nontraditional esports partners, like E.W. Scripps Company, looking to capitalize on the popularity of the industry. Earlier this year, FTX, a cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, paid $210 million to acquire the rights to change the name of popular esports team Team SoloMid to TSM FTX. Recently announced partnerships include Gucci and 100 Thieves (merchandise), Tumi and Evil Geniuses (luggage), and McDonald’s USA and FaZe Clan (diversity and inclusion).
With the rise of the esports sector, look for these partnerships and investment opportunities to grow considerably.