SBD/January 11, 2017/Franchises

Heat Become Latest NBA Team To Invest In E-Sports Organization With Stake In Misfits

The Heat and e-sports team Misfits yesterday announced that the NBA club has "acquired a stake" in the multigame organization, according to Jacob Wolf of ESPN.com. The Heat will "assist in managerial duties around the brand, including a new rebrand to match the Heat colors, marketing, brand promotion and sponsorship." Terms of the deal "were not disclosed." The Heat are the second NBA franchise to "fully integrate into an esports team." In September, the 76ers ownership group "purchased a majority stake in Team Dignitas and Apex Gaming, merging the two under the Dignitas banner, appointing new staffers and using some of its staff from the Sixers for the esports brand." There are "other NBA investments of varying degrees" that include the Grizzlies, Kings, Wizards and Warriors (ESPN.com, 1/10).

FILM STUDY: Toronto-based movie theater operator Cineplex yesterday announced plans for a "Call of Duty" tournament that will see teams compete for $65,000 in cash and prizes and, for the first time, the "opportunity to move on to a major U.S. competition." The GLOBE & MAIL's Andrew Willis writes it is the latest sign that e-sports are "becoming a big-money enterprise in Canada." As part of a "larger strategy to be about more than just movies, Cineplex and its WorldGaming subsidiary will host qualifying tournaments for teams of four gamers at 24 theatre complexes" across Canada. The success of the e-sport business "means Cineplex’s fortunes are no longer totally dependent on Hollywood blockbusters" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/11).
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