Esports Milestone: The Philadelphia Eagles Become The First NFL Team To Dive Into Esports
from the first-down! dept
We’ve been talking about the growth of esports for some time here, in particular the way it has exploded in use since the pandemic first began. Still, for those of us watching the progress of esports, there are certain milestone markers you look for. Major sporting brands like Nike jumping into it is one, as is seeing the first esports company looking to be listed on a major stock exchange. But the real indicator that esports is now fully a thing is when major IRL sports leagues like the NHL, NASCAR, and MLB jump onto the bandwagon.
Still, in some of those cases, this action was taken specifically to tide the public over during the severe lockdowns in the pandemic, which by-and-large shut down IRL sports. But with the Philadelphia Eagles deciding to be the NFL’s first franchise to get into esports, it appears to be for the long haul.
The Philadelphia Eagles have named Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) as their official esports tournament provider, a first for a National Football League (NFL) franchise. The multi-year partnership will see EEG operate biannual competitions played on EA Sports’ Madden NFL title, with the gaming-focused betting company utilising its Esports Gaming League platform.
In addition, the deal sees the Eagles become an EEG shareholder. The firm was founded in 2008 and in its most recent financial filing it citied a significant uptick in its turnover, which it said had returned to pre-Covid levels.
Note: in the betting world, turnover is a good thing, as it refers to the amount of money being wagered and the amount of vig taken in by the betting platform. The notable part of this is the Eagles’ decision to become a shareholder in EEG. That indicates that this isn’t some short term play during the pandemic, which actually didn’t shut down NFL football at all, but rather a long term play aimed at riding a wave of esports’ popularity.
And the benefits here are a two-way street. With this deal, EEG can make use of Eagles players to advertise its tournaments.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Philadelphia Eagles as they introduce their fans to the world of competitive esports gaming,” said Grant Johnson, chief executive of EEG.
“The Eagles join a growing list of high-profile organisations that have chosen Esports Entertainment Group as their esports tournament provider, affording us an incredible opportunity to expand our brand reach within multiple large, dedicated fanbases and setting the stage for significant growth ahead. We intend to build on this momentum.”
If there are still doubters out there that esports is going to become a major player in the sports entertainment market, it might be time to admit you were wrong.