Market Overview

Podcast: E-Sports Goes Mainstream With NBA, FIFA Deals


Welcome to the latest episode of the Full-Court Finance podcast from Zacks Investment Research. This week we take a look at the growth of esports and how deals between gaming companies and leagues such as the NBA will help expand professional video gaming's appeal.

The esports ecosystem is expected to expand by almost 40% in 2018 to become a $905.6 million business, based on new estimates from market research firm NewZoo. A majority of this money is set to come from non-endemic sponsors, advertisers, and media companies.

This year, HP HP, Intel INTC, Toyota TM, and T-Mobile TMUS all sponsor Activision Blizzard's ATVI new "Overwatch League," which models its structure on major U.S. professional sports leagues. Take-Two Interactive TTWO and Electronic Arts EA have also bolstered their partnerships with more mainstream sports.

Take-Two and the NBA's new "NBA 2K League" is set to tip off its inaugural season this spring. When it does, the NBA will become the first major North American sports league to run an esports league.

The NBA's new esports league does yet have a media rights partner. There are, however, a few likely frontrunners. The league already works with Amazon's AMZN Twitch platform to stream G League games, and Facebook FB and Twitter TWTR are both actively trying to expand their streaming content options.

At the same time, the most popular sport in the world, soccer, is hoping to grow its reach through joint ventures between EA's FIFA video game and pro leagues around the world, including the MLS.

Esports have been on the rise for years. Yet, its growth has been largely tied to games such as Tencent-owned TCEHY League of Legends and other multiplayer battle games. Now, esports have the chance to become even bigger with the successful adoption and integration of widely popular games for mainstream sports, like Madden and NBA 2K.

If you have any questions about this episode of Full-Court Finance please feel free to shoot us an email over at Please also make sure to check out all of our other podcasts at, and remember to subscribe and leave a rating on iTunes.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Posted-In: contributor contributors e-sportsNews Contracts Media


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