Events / Sports

Will the esports craze stand the test of time?

Speakers from N3rd Street Gamers, Philadelphia Union, and SeventySix Capital will head to Temple University on Friday to try and solve that puzzle.

The Philadelphia Fusion, shown here pdominating, will be repped by CFO Joe Marsh. (Courtesy video)

Here’s a quick list of big names you’ve heard of that have jumped on the esports bandwagon recently:

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.

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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.

Companies: Nerd Street / Philadelphia Fusion / Philadelphia 76ers / Philadelphia Union / SeventySix Capital / Temple University

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