NBA Stars Play eSports – New Deal For Fans
NBA Fans are used to seeing their favorites players perform on the court on a nightly basis, but now they can follow basketball stars performing during off-court esports gameplay. The National Basketball Players Association, the union for NBA players, announced they will be joining forces with the Esports and gaming platform ReadyUp. The deal was announced this week at the Esports Rising in Los Angeles. The basis of its appeal is for fans to follow their favorite athletes into games, tournaments and live streams adding easy access to NBA players’ streaming activities.
“We’re trying to give on our players a new way to engage with their fans through behavior they’re already enjoying,” said Payne Brown, president of marketing of the National Basketball Players Association. ReadyUp will launch an esports “smart calendar” to give the fans the exact dates where the players will be playing online against each other. The idea is to take advantage of the nights where NBA teams are off. A smart calendar will provide fans the chance to see players go head to head in esports gaming.
According to an NBA statement in 2012, 85% of their players were gamers. With six years passed by and the increased in popularity of esports, those numbers should be a lot higher now. “The NBPA and THINK450 partnership with ReadyUp gives our players an exciting new way to connect with their fans, based on their shared passion for video games and esports while creating new content and distribution channels for our business partners,” says NBPA Executive Director Michele Roberts.
According to market researcher Newzoo, the esports will close the year with $906 million in revenue; that’s a 32% climb from 2017. The Activision Blizzard Inc.’s Overwatch League and the Riot Games’ League of Legends Championship Series North America have become organically popular. Esports is the hottest business out there. “Esports is entering a new phase, a rather critical phase on its way to maturity,” said Robert Muller von Vultejus, managing director of Lagardere Sports Germany, a marketing firm involved in the esports growth in Europe.
Betting on your favorite NBA players playing esports
Betting on esports is not welcomed in the United States just yet. But at one point, sports betting was illegal. If we think in baby steps, at some point esports betting will be available for fans the in the US. Since Unikrn acquired a license in Malta that allows legal, live-betting on competitive video games in over 20 countries across Europe and Asia, the future looks bright.
While the US esports betting is an uphill battle, the future always wins. With the ReadyUp and NBA players association, we might get to bet on a Draymond Green vs. Kevin Durant NBA2K battle off the court. That might be the best way to settle their recent miscues. “The whole ecosystem of traditional sports was being transformed to the digital world, and it was happening very quickly,” said Ken Hersh, a part owner of Texas Rangers baseball team. The team is also looking to invest in esports. If you are new to eSports betting we recommend reading our eSports Online Betting Guide.