Here’s a quick list of big names you’ve heard of that have jumped on the esports bandwagon recently:
- Comcast, which owns Philly’s official Overwatch team
- The Philadelphia Union, which is putting a team together for the Major League Soccer’s FIFA 18 league
- The Philadelphia 76ers, which was the first NBA team to enter the space
Can the momentum be sustained? In Philly, a handful of startups and institutions are trusting the esports process, as they double down on initiatives within an industry that, analysts say, could hit $1.48 billion in revenue by 2020.
“The rise of eSport has been like a wave slowly building and what we are observing now is the wave cresting,” said Daniel Funk, a Temple professor and the director of the Sport Industry Research Center. “As a result, companies and institutions from various industry sectors are positioning themselves to capitalize on the eSport wave and ride the momentum.”
On Friday, Temple’s School of Sport, Tourism & Hospitality Management and the SIRC are holding a conference to do some future-gazing on the industry’s promise, and the opportunities and challenges it provides from a management perspective.
Here’s the speaker lineup:
- Wayne Kimmel, managing director of SeventySix Capital (which closed a $10 million fund last year that will focus on sports tech)
- Pete Powell, talent acquisition manager at Comcast Spectacor (owners of the Philadelphia Fusion)
- John Fazio, founder of N3rd Street Gamers (organizer of gaming events and an esports network)
- Alyssa Gentile, marketing coordinator at the Philadelphia Union
- Joe Marsh, CFO of the Philadelphia Fusion
- Daniel Funk, from the School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management
Funk said to look out for more esports action coming from the Temple institute he runs: there’s a working group in the works to promote research on the subject and a education certificates on esports to “help industry professionals prepare for a career in the emerging market.”
P.S. This event wraps up at 4 p.m. — giving you plenty of time to head over to the Kickoff Festival @ Schmidt’s Commons for Philly Tech Week 2018 presented by Comcast and peep the creations of local videogame makers.
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