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Big European Sports Teams Eye Rising Esports Audience

Pro clubs join the competitive video gaming market

March 23, 2017 | Media

The esports market is growing rapidly, and some of Europe’s biggest sporting brands have taken note.

Esports Revenues Worldwide, by Type, 2015-2020 (millions)

February 2017 data from esports analyst firm Newzoo indicated that global esports revenues would reach almost $1.5 billion by 2020, up from $696 million in 2017. A Juniper Research study published this month suggested that esports and streamed games content would drive $3.5 billion in revenues worldwide by 2021, up from $1.8 billion in 2017.

SuperData Research found that worldwide digital game revenues derived from esports were worth $900 million in 2016.

Digital Game Revenues Worldwide, by Segment, 2016 (billions)

Some of the biggest sports organizations in Europe certainly see potential in the esports market. France’s reigning Ligue 1 soccer champions, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), recently launched its own official esports team, parading its three marquee signings via an official press conference at the club’s Parc des Princes stadium.

In the UK, while English Premier League clubs have yet to go as far as PSG and create their own esports teams, West Ham and Manchester City have signed up individual esports specialists to represent the respective clubs in esports competitions.

With Newzoo data from August 2016 indicating that the esports audience in the UK stood at around 6.5 million, it may be only a matter of time until other real-world teams join the fray.

Bill Fisher

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US paid media ad spending will grow steadily in 2017, on the heels of a strong 2016 boosted by the Rio Olympics and the presidential election. A focus on mobile will fuel growth, pushing total media spend to more than $206 billion this year—a moderate increase of 6.1%. Preview Report

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