NBA's Sixers Add To Their Portfolio; Team Dignitas All Set To Make It Big At The E-Sports Arena

By Liza Smith, Parent Herald October 19, 06:00 pm

Philadelphia Sixers has always been a popular team in the NBA realm. The team and the players always represented basketball and NBA. It brings to mind the fact that the team has suffered a long drought since their last NBA championship. Now there is a whole new reason why Sixers will come to your mind and that is e-sports.

The Sixers is the first professional sports franchise in the US to enter the ranks of the wildly popular e-sports realm. Last month they acquired two teams and merged them under the banner - Team Dignitas.

On Monday, Team Dignitas announced the appointment of Jonathan Kemp, a gaming industry and marketing veteran, as its new CEO. The new CEO will be responsible for Dignitas' business operations and player recruitment and development. Jonathan Kemp was a former senior executive at British video game publisher Edios. He was also on the team which created gaming content for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Jonathan Kemp was placed at the helm of thing at Dignitas after a month after the Sixers named Greg Richardson as the chairman of Dignitas. He had been CEO of Bioware and a vice president at Electronic Arts.

The Philadelphia 76ers are hopeful that under the leadership of Jonathan Kemp their e-sports franchise, Team Dignitas, will be able to attract a more mainstream audience.

"This is a great opportunity," Kemp said. "I could not afford to ignore this. This is too big of a sport, a phenomenon, to not be involved with."

We all know that now e-sports is where all the action is. According to reports, the competitive professional gaming has about 292 million followers online and attracts nearly $500 million via TV in annual revenue, reported ESPN.

The Sixers aren't the only NBA-related team to invest in e-sports. Golden State Warriors owner Peter Guber and Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis recently announced they were co-acquiring e-sports power Team Liquid. These partnerships with traditional sports franchises are signs that e-sports is pushing deeper into the mainstream, reported CNet.

Team Dignitas adds to the big-league portfolio of the Sixers' ownership group. The group already owns five other pro sports franchises, including the NHL's New Jersey Devils and English Premier League soccer team Crystal Palace FC. After it is re-branded, Team Dignitas will be competing in the five e-sports video game leagues: League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and Smite.

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