A new global esports advisory firm called Electronic Sports Group has been launched by Major League Gaming co-founder Mike Sepso in combination with NBA executive Bobby Sharma. The focus of the Electronic Sports Group will be to work on the business aspects of esports. Working with Advertising, finance, as well as media and sports companies to build strategies for investment are among the focuses for the new company.
“The biggest hurdle for esports to overcome in 2019 is to attract meaningful investment from brands,” Sepso explained to GamesIndustry.biz when asked about the role of his new company, ESG in helping the esports industry grow. “The challenge is authentically connecting brands with a large, global audience. A key challenge for rights holders and brands is a level of comfort and understanding. ESG hopes to be a key participant in bridging that divide.
Sepso clearly has a strong interest in esports as a former Activision Blizzard executive. He helped form the wildly successful Overwatch League and recently joined the New York Excelsior team as a strategic partner. Sepso will also helm the company as the chairman of the esports advisory firm and the former HBO Sports president Ken Hershman will take a partner position.
It makes sense with esports as an ever-growing industry that more regular sporting brands are getting involved. Having the marketing expertise from the long-established systems in traditional sports could help esports as an industry learn and grow.
Conversely, there’s also the potential that traditional ways of thinking won’t translate into what makes esports special to many fans. Not all fans of esports are also happy to watch things like football or basketball so finding the right appeal for this growing industry could be harder to find.
This new esports advisory firm isn’t the only new kid on the block looking to get into esports. Recently the United States Army has started some esports teams to help boost recruitment. Even the Olympics might be getting into the fray but not for any sports with violence or killing.