New York Yankees invest in Vision Esports
Most valuable team in baseball ventures into the world of competitive video games
The New York Yankees are the latest big name to invest in esports.
This follows on from a string of increasingly surprising investments into the industry starting with Shaquille O'Neal and ending with Jennifer Lopez.
The Yankees - the most valuable team in baseball - has thrown its substantial heft behind Vision Esports which is the largest single shareholder in three esports related companies.
The companies are: Twin Galaxies, which recently announced the H1Z1 Pro League in partnership with developers Daybreak; Vision Entertainment, a studio that creates esports specific content; and Echo Fox, the esports team founded by former NBA champion Rick Fox.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the team said that The Yankees intend to bring its "considerable marketing, sales, and partnership experience" to encourage global brand awareness and growth of all three companies.
As the esports industry evolves, and hits the occasional setback along the way, investment of not only capital but expertise from traditional sports organisations could be the key to fostering healthy growth.
"The New York Yankees and Vision Esports will mirror management of the three esports properties in a manner very similar to traditional profession sports properties," the Yankees said.
"The philosophy includes seeking to maximise revenue opportunities for advertising, sponsorship, media and broadcasting rights, merchandise and ticket sales, managing rights and original content programming for both broadcasting and streaming distribution, formats. In addition, the Yankees and Vision esports will collaborate on marketing and sponsorship initiatives across asset."
GamesIndustry.biz spoke recently with Brendan Donohue, managing director of the forthcoming NBA 2K League, about the role of traditional sports in the industry.