Skillz is announcing that it will provide mobile esports to Bowlero’s 300 bowling centers as a way to keep fans engaged through digital competition.
The San Francisco-based Skillz has built a platform that adds competitive multiplayer to mobile games, and it now has more than 20,000 game developers, and it says more than 30 million people play Skillz-based games. Skillz has shown that competitive gaming helps keep players engaged and playing the game longer, and it helps game makers better monetize their content.
Esports monetization is expected to reach $3 billion by 2022, according to a report from Goldman Sachs. Skillz provides game makers with an additional monetization solution beyond legacy models like ads and in-game purchases, while better aligning the game maker revenue model with the player experience to drive greater business outcomes.
The mobile esports partnership will connect the 30 million registered Skillz players with Bowlero’s 300 bowling centers and 28 million annual customers.
Touch Mechanics, a United Kingdom game studio that has been creating Skillz-powered games since 2014, has been tapped to launch the new Bowlero-branded mobile game called Strike! By Bowlero. The optimized game merges the physical and digital worlds, extending the Bowlero bowling experience beyond physical locations while bringing sponsored esports tournaments to the Bowlero bowling centers.
Bowlero will encourage its customers to download the mobile game and compete for prizes and bonuses at Bowlero centers. The idea is to create an interactive physical-to-digital experience for bowlers on and off the lanes.
Lev Ekster, vice president of business development at Bowlero and chief operating officer of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), said in a statement that the goal is to strengthen the connection to center guests even when they are not bowling.
“Bowling is the most popular participatory sport in America and a very popular genre on Skillz,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and founder of Skillz, said in a statement. He said that blowing is already a highly social participatory sport, and this will help Bowlero and Skillz define the future of entertainment as the offline and online worlds collide.
Skillz has previously used its platform to help notable charitable organizations reach a younger mobile users. Through partnerships with the American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, World Wildlife Fund, and NFL Hall of Famers Steve Young and Jerry Rice’s 8 to 80 Zone, Skillz has launched large scale digital fundraisers engaging new donors.