It’s a good day for esports, as the film studio Lionsgate and the NBA franchise the Miami Heat have made the decision to invest. They join a handful of either high-powered companies and organizations that see the growing industry as a shining land of opportunity.
Lionsgate and Immortals
Lionsgate has thrown their financial support behind Immortals, an organization that started with League of Legends in 2015, but has expanded to include Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Super Smash Bros. and Overwatch teams.
According to Venture Beat, another media company in which Lionsgate is a majority investory, Pilgrim Media Group, also made an investment in esports last year when it partnered with ESL. The two companies are working together to bring Halo events to fans via digital and traditional media.
Miami Heat and Misfits
Meanwhile, in a growing trend in traditional sports, NBA franchise the Miami Heat has invested in the esports organization Misfits. With a top performing Overwatch team, Misfits also runs teams for titles like League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., and Heroes of the Storm.
ESPN obtained a quote from Miami Heat CEO Nick Arison about their decision to back Misfits, “a young and ambitious franchise in a sport that is blazing a trail in terms of 21st century recreational competition.” More than just sending a check over to Misfits, the deal partners the two organizations together, with the NBA franchise assisting with managerial duties, marketing, sponsorship, and brand promotion. According to ESPN, Misfits will also redo its logo colors to match the Miami Heat.
ESPN reporter Darren Rovell, via Twitter, attributes the recent surge in interest to a meeting where NBA owners were briefed on the current state of the esports industry. That could mean there will be more investment announcements to come in the following days.
At a recent meeting, NBA owners were briefed on the esports world. Made an impact. Drove many of them to invest.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 10, 2017