Philly isn’t too good at the “real” sport of basketball, so maybe they should try their hand at something entirely different to get over last season’s 72-loss embarrassment — like eSports, for instance. And that’s exactly what owner Joshua Harris — who also owns the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and an 18% stake in Crystal Palace FC — and company are doing as the 76ers have purchased two eSports teams: Team Dignitas and Team Apex.
Founded back in 2004, Team Dignitas will unite with League of Legends powerhouse Team Apex under the single Dignitas banner while the Sixers will handle everything from marketing and merchandising to publicity and branding. Current Team Dignitas manager Greg Richardson will become the chairman of the newly combined team. Said Philadelphia 76ers Co-Managing Partner David Blitzer:
We are excited to become leaders in making the future of eSports even brighter. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with such an experienced and respected group of entrepreneurs to provide Team Dignitas with the resources it needs to join the ranks of elite competitors. Adding eSports to our portfolio will provide us with many new ways to extend and strengthen our existing sports brands and grow championship caliber franchises.
We intend to build a fan-first team that aspires for excellence in all aspects of the business from attracting premier playing talent to building out merchandising, sponsorships and broadcast rights. The eSports market was started and built by its players and fans, creating one of the most vibrant and passionate communities anywhere. Dignitas embraces the unique origins of eSports and looks forward to working closely with its community to take the industry to the next level.
The move makes the Sixers the first traditional sports franchise to own an eSports team.
- Mitchel Leff/Getty
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