AS Roma Launches eSports Team and Fnatic Partnership

AS ROMA LAUNCHES ESPORTS TEAM AND FNATIC PARTNERSHIP

AS Roma Launches eSports Team With Fnatic (Photo: AS Roma)

TNL Take: The Pro Sports and eSports investment continues with one of  Italy's top Serie A teams AS Roma joining the party and the 11th partnership in 2017 so far.

2017 Pro Sports and eSports Investment (Infographic: The Next Level)

AS Roma entering eSports is slightly different than previous pro teams however:

  • Instead of launching an internal eSports division (like Paris St-Germain) or working with an agency (like VFL Wolfsburg), AS Roma partnered with top UK based team Fnatic to launch their team
  • AS Roma's first 3 FIFA Athletes are also unique as they're not just based in Italy but the US and UK as well
  • Fnatic is probably the leader in eSports merchandise with their own hardware line and even launching a London pop-up store last year. Look to the AS Roma partnership to help drive jersey sales

AS Roma's 1st 3 International FIFA Athlete's (Photo: AS Roma)

One thing that many media sites missed is that this is the 2nd Boston Celtics's involvement after Jonas Jerebko bought eSports team Renegades last year (AS Roma is owned by Celtic's Co-Owner Jim Pallotta).

Jim Pallotta's Raptor Group's Investments (Photo: Raptor)

AS Roma has already been promoting their new eSports squad with a Facebook Live stream generating almost a half million views and 50k on YouTube.

Boston Celtic's Jerebko Buys eSports Team Renegades

BOSTON CELTIC'S JEREBKO BUYS ESPORTS TEAM RENEGADES

Jonas Jerebko (Photo: USA Today)

TNL Take: The number of times I've tweeted of the emergence of Pro Teams and Athletes to eSports is a little ridiculous.

This week we saw that trend continue with Boston Celtic's forward Jonas Jerebko buying eSports team Renegades.

While Renegades got kicked out of their League of Legends slot, they have a spot in Turner's E LEAGUE with their Counter-Strike team.  Jerebko also picked up a Detroit based Call of Duty team and plans to have a Team House in Michigan.

Renegades price tag wasn't nearly as high as other Athlete/Pro Team related eSports Team purchases have been over the past year primarily to losing that League slot.

I just looked at the Renegades investment deck and it was from a while back.

Now that's not saying Jerebko isn't going to be spending some more coin. He said he does intend to get into other games but more importantly:

Will actually be paying his Athletes...and on time.

This eSports team has the benefit of their owner having a $5M annual salary.

Jerebko's Swedish heritage may also have something to do with the buy; home of Fnatic's Counter-Strike team and the country where eSports is on some High School curriculum already - btw, just give that a bit more time here in the US.

 

To be moved up my "time to refresh the article pile" is one of the earliest things I wrote in The Next Level 006 on Traditional Sports Invading eSports.

For those keeping score, here are the Athletes I predicted would make the next moves into eSports :

  • Kobe Bryant
  • Kyle Long
  • Chris Kluwe
  • Steve Nash
  • Amar’e Stoudemire
  • Baron Davis

C'mon Kobe, you just announced a $100M fund. Time to join your buds.

The Current and Future eSports Team Owners (Photo: LA Lakers)