Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Register today.
If you’re gonna make the big bucks as an athlete in the NFL, you’re gonna need an agent. You should expect the same as an e-sports jock as well.
William Morris Endeavor, a talent agency for artists and athletes, has purchased Global eSports Management (via Deadline). GEM is an international agency that represents e-sports competitors, commentators, and event organizers, and it focuses on landing sponsorship and marketing deals for its clients. GEM will now do that with this Hollywood firm’s significant resources at its disposal. The e-sports market has millions of spectators and is partly responsible for the growth of sites like Twitch, which Amazon purchased for $970 million.
This is a sign that the traditional sports world sees dollar signs in the growing competitive-gaming scene, which is drawing viewerships in the millions and prize pools worth as much as the biggest pro-golf tournaments.
We’ve asked GEM and WME for the details of the acquisition, and we’ll update this post with any new information.
E-sports is one of the fastest growing spectator events in the world. Last year’s League of Legends Championship event had more than 30 million people watching it online and thousands of people attending live. Organizations like Major League Gaming have repeatedly pointed out that its events have a larger audience than the NCAA basketball tournament.
Not only does e-sports have a big audience, the people watching are also primarily in the coveted 15-to-35-year-old male demographic. And they aren’t just watching an occasional match, as these fans are online several days a week watching hours at a time. This creates a big chance for marketers who want to step in and sponsor a player or team, and that’s where WME and GEM want to go to work.
In a statement, WME chief operating officer Jason Lublin said that Global eSports management cofounder Tobias Sherman and Min-Sik Ko “bring unparalleled industry knowledge.” Lublin went on to talk about the opportunity for growth in the e-sports space. WME’s leadership obviously sensed an opportunity here, and it figured that it was worth investing in one of the few companies doing representation in the competitive-gaming market.
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.