Manchester United May Make the Jump to eSports
Manchester United, arguably the biggest sports franchise in the world, is reportedly looking to enter the booming eSports market.
According to a report from eSports News UK, the soccer organization is currently looking to buy one of the top Overwatch squads in Europe. If they do purchase the team, they would be joining other major soccer clubs from around the world in making the leap into eSports. Current soccer clubs investing in the eSports boom include: Valencia, Beşiktaş, West Ham United, and FC Schalke 04. Europe's biggest soccer organizations aren’t the only ones who see value in eSports market, other players in major sports have already invested in teams including Rick Fox, Shaq, and 2 co-owners of the Sacramento Kings.
The bid for this new venture is not unchallenged however, as Fnatic, a well established eSports franchise has already made a bid for the same players. There is no doubt that Manchester United would be able to win any bidding war (the club is currently valued at over $3.3 billion), but the players may be looking to “return home” with this move. A core group of the top European Overwatch squad being bid on had previously played for Fnatic in Battlefield 4 and may be happy to return to the storied eSports organization.
If Manchester United does purchase the Overwatch squad it seems they may be entering the eSports scene at just the right time. The recent release of Overwatch breaking records and creating a new eSport title, many teams and business savvy outsiders are looking to make their move into the industry. We are currently seeing the highest numbers in history for both eSports marketing and advertising and current projections seem to indicate that the growth is not slowing.