Michael Jordan is a legend in the NBA, and from there has transcended the sport to become a pop culture icon. He is best known as a player for the Chicago Bulls. But now, he is teaming up with Team Liquid and their parent Company aXiomatic to venture into Esports. Although the amount is not disclosed to the public, reports are saying the legend’s contribution is part of a group that gave around $26 million.
The Growing Esports Industry
It may seem odd to traditional sports fans, but the Esports market is widespread and growing. With each year global tournaments grand prizes get bigger and bigger. In 2017 Team Liquid’s European team won the international Dota2 tournament with an $11 million grand prize.
However, it is not the prize money that’s the real draw for investors. Instead, it is the consumer fan base. American fans alone spent upwards of $29 billion in video game content last 2017 according to the Electronic Software Association trade group. This demographic may still be small compared to traditional sports, but Esports has a loyal and ever-growing fanbase that can sell out the likes of Madison Square Garden in New York.
Jordan’s New Team
aXiomatic Gaming is not just the parent company of world-renowned Team Liquid; it is also owner to many smaller companies in the digital sports world. These include the analytics site Mobalytics, local tournament organizing body Super League Gaming and the training platform Gamer Sensei.
With the investments they recently received, the idea is not just to get players but to approach it like any traditional sports. That includes acquiring talent and training them in well-made facilities. These actions are in line with what aXiomatic’s CEO and Cofounder Bruce Stein said “Esports for us is more than just a sport. It’s a culture change.”
This investment expands Jordan’s financial reach to new heights. Most sports fans know that he is the major stakeholder in the NBA team the Charlotte Hornets. Then in 2017, he became part owner of Major League Baseball team the Miami Marlins. This new investment in Esports is a great way to diversify his portfolio. To add to that he has investments outside of sports in the auto and the food and beverage industry. It is that same business acumen that made him the first billionaire NBA Player.