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How the NBA is Making Waves in eSports

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How the NBA is Making Waves in eSportsReading Time: 4 minutes

 

The National Basketball Association has just turned 73 years old and is one of the four major leagues for professional level sports in North America. Thanks to this age and prominence, it is often considered the world’s leading basketball league, with good reason. Whilst comprising of teams only from the United States and Canada, the NBA attracts many international players who join from every continent. In addition, the average NBA team is worth $1.9 billion, considerably more than teams in other leagues.

Expanding the Empire

The NBA is currently enacting a strategy to leverage its brand around the world, developing audiences in regions outside of the United States including the UK, Africa and China. As part of this it recently announced the launch of a NBA YouTube channel to stream games to sub-Saharan audiences.

The eSports Expansion

In 2017, the NBA and games developer Take-Two Interactive announced that 17 of the 30 NBA teams would be taking part in the inaugural NBA 2K eSports League. This list included big names like the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors. The first of these eSports games took place in 2018, using the NBA 2K video games. Like real life games, NBA 2K eSports League games are contested between two teams of 5 players, making use of the “Pro-Am” mode found in the consumer version of NBA 2K 2018.

Just like in real life basketball, the eSports teams are generally made up of the following types of player:

  • Point guard: generally taking the on court leadership role for the team, typically having the best ball handling and passing skills to assist in creating shots
  • Shooting guard: typically the best shooter on the team, tasked with exploiting these skills, particularly when shooting from behind the three-point line
  • Small forward: often considered the most versatile position of the five, the small forward often takes on the role of the shooting guard, but is more likely to score baskets from lay-ups or slam dunks in contrast to the shooting guard’s three-point shooting abilities
  • Power forward: a versatile role, similar to the centre, which requires shooting and defence skills against all types of players
  • Centre: typically the tallest players, defending against shots and collecting rebounds.

The “eSeason”

In the real world, the NBA Championship will be decided between the Toronto Raptors and the Golden State Warriors in mid June. Currently, odds comparison site Oddschecker is ranking the Raptors as favourites to take the crown. However, the NBA 2K eSports season begins in spring and finishes in summer. This timing allows the NBA to have its brand utilised for a larger portion of the year, beyond the end of the traditional basketball season.

eSports has become a multi million dollar industry.  Photo by Anthony Brolin, License

 

First Mover Advantage

The NBA’s announcement in 2017 that it would be launching the NBA 2K eSports League meant that it was the first major sports brand in the United States to enter the world of eSports. In contrast, most other eSports leagues are organised by tech companies like Intel – or games companies like Epic Games, the company behind Fortnite. Therefore, if the NBA is successful it will have several years of development to build a loyal eSports fan base, before rivals such as the National Football League or Major League Baseball join the party.

Growing Already

After a successful first year, four additional real life NBA teams will be joining the NBA 2K eSports League lineup, bringing the total number to 21. These new teams are: the Atlanta Hawks, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Brooklyn Nets and the Minnesota Timberwolves.The growth provides mutual benefits, since the teams will bring with them their own existing supporters who are more likely to follow their team’s eSports team, than an unknown entrant. In addition, the fans of eSports are likely to also gain a stronger interest in the real life team, buying merchandise and visiting games.

Live Streaming

Just as traditional sports leagues like the NBA have sold rights to air games on TV, the NBA 2K eSports League has signed a deal to have its games streamed live over the internet. The deal with streaming platform Twitch sees all games shown live, available to its audience of 15 million daily active users. The multi year streaming deal also includes commentary and analysis, just like you would expect from traditional TV coverage of any other sport.

The NBA 2K eSports deal is not Twitch’s first with the NBA. In December 2017, the two companies signed a deal that enabled Twitch to live stream games from the NBA G League, the official minor league, with up to 6 matches each week being distributed on the platform.

Sponsorship

Just like traditional sports leagues, the NBA 2K eSports League has signed a number of major sponsorship deals with large companies. Games are played on computers provided by gaming PC brand Alienware, using powerful processing chipsets supplied by Intel. Players use HyperX sponsored headsets and Scuf Gaming branded controllers. Teams also have their own sponsors, with their logos displayed on the teams’ in-game uniforms, just like in real life.

Conclusion

The growth in eSports has been massive, with large sums of money now being invested in creating leagues with all of the hallmarks of a traditional sport. In its quest to become a global sports brand, the NBA has been able to leverage its existing assets to create a large following in eSports, almost overnight. By launching the league in 2018 with 17 existing NBA teams, the NBA 2K eSports League already had loyal fans of 17 established sports clubs who would want to support them. Thus, it has a pre-made fanbase, huge financial assets and an established brand to leverage sponsorship deals and to use in negotiations when selling streaming rights.

In addition, the NBA’s venture into eSports is a significant opportunity to expand the reach of its brand into new geographic regions, as well as to new demographics that had not previously been interested in basketball. Even if a player does not become an avid watcher of NBA games, sales of the NBA 2K video game titles are also likely to benefit from the exposure of the NBA 2K eSports League.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: How the NBA is Making Waves in eSports

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UNITE HERE Warns About Potential Gaming Tax Revenue Declines, Job Cuts, and Other Problems of Proposed Merger of Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment

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Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment jointly announced a proposed transaction to combine the two corporations, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals. The deal is to be based on $7.2 billion of new debt financing and $500 million of cuts and other “synergies.” UNITE HERE, the hospitality workers union, represents approximately 25,000 workers at Caesars and Eldorado properties.

UNITE HERE-represented union casinos accounted for approximately 68% of the pro forma $30 billion combined Caesars-Eldorado EBITDAR in 2018. These 22 UNITE HERE union casinos altogether include over 50% of the combined company’s total hotel rooms, over 30% of its total slots, and nearly 40% of its total table games. UNITE HERE locals are currently in contract negotiations with Eldorado at Circus Circus Reno and Isle Pompano Beach. Contracts at six additional UNITE HERE union casinos in the combined Caesars and Eldorado portfolio will expire in 2020, including four properties in Atlantic City.

UNITE HERE issued the following statement from President D. Taylor:

“UNITE HERE has had a positive relationship with Caesars Entertainment over the years, and 25,000 union members have been excited to help the company reinvest and rebuild as it recovers from the disastrous leveraged buyout led by Apollo and TPG. It is in this context that we approach the proposed sale of the company with great concern.

Yesterday, Eldorado announced cost-savings of $500 million in the first year of the combined company. Where are they going to cut? We will not stand by idly if the proposed Caesars-Eldorado transaction will lead to significant job losses, worse wages and benefits for our members, and lower state gaming tax receipts in the many communities where members we represent work and live. Casinos operating under privileged licenses are meant to create significant benefits for host communities, including family-sustaining jobs and local government funding based on gaming taxes.

We will support changes at Caesars that preserve the company’s long-term financial health and provide a sustainable path to good jobs in vibrant gaming markets across the country.”

2018, 7,700 UNITE HERE members went on a multi-city strike at Marriott hotels across the United States and won historic settlements in Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, San Diego, and Hawaii.

UNITE HERE represents over 300,000 hospitality workers in gaming, hotel, and food service industries in North America and provides analysis from the perspective of those who work in these industries.

 

Source: UNITE HERE


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: UNITE HERE Warns About Potential Gaming Tax Revenue Declines, Job Cuts, and Other Problems of Proposed Merger of Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment

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UK NHS to Open Gambling Clinic for Children

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UK NHS to Open Gambling Clinic for ChildrenReading Time: 1 minute

 

The UK’s NHS is going to open its first gambling clinic for children.

According to the Gambling Commission, there are 55,000 children classed as having a gambling problem in Britain. The Commission also found that a total of 450,000 are gambling regularly.

“This action shows just how seriously the NHS takes the threat of gambling addiction, even in young people. The links between problem gambling and stress, depression and mental health problems are growing and there are too many stories of lives lost and families destroyed,” Simon Stevens, the NHS England chief executive said.

The move was welcomed by Carolyn Harris, the Labour MP for Swansea East, who said attitudes around problem gambling was at last shifting. “For too long the industry has dismissed problem gambling but now is the time for polluters to pay,” she said.

“The clinic will open as part of a new network of services for addicts being rolled out as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Specialist face-to-face NHS treatment for gambling addiction has only been available in London but is being made available across the country as part of the new strategy,” NHS England said.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: UK NHS to Open Gambling Clinic for Children

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Mobile Betting Bill Fails to Progress Through New York Assembly

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Senator Joseph Addabbo’s mobile betting bill has failed to progress through the New York Assembly. The legislative session saw S17 fail to progress beyond the Assembly Standing Committee on Codes.

Addabbo tweeted that he saw no clear reason why the state could not implement mobile sports betting in 2019. Failure to do so would see the state miss out on around $75m in revenue, funding for education, and both job creation and retention.

“NY will be stuck like a disabled car on the shoulder, while we allow an illegal sports betting business in our state thrive and idly watch other neighboring states pass us up with enormous revenue gains from mobile sports betting,” Addabbo said.


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Mobile Betting Bill Fails to Progress Through New York Assembly

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