NBA’s Rockets Shoot for eSports Win: 1st to Hire Executive for Dedicated Role

Eben Novy-Williams of Bloomberg reports that “the NBA’s Houston Rockets have hired an esports executive to guide the franchise into the rapidly growing world of competitive video gaming.”

Sebastian Park, who starts Thursday as director of esports development, will assess how the Rockets and owner Les Alexander can join the $500 million industry, both as an investment and to expand the reach of the 49-year-old basketball franchise.”

The piece continues: “That could mean buying teams, or getting involved at the event or league levels. It also could place the Rockets brand directly into the world of competitive gaming, a step taken by various clubs in Europe, but not yet adopted by the handful of other NBA owners who have recently invested in esports teams. Those decisions will be made over time, Park said, a luxury that the Rockets have.”

Back in August, Jacob Wolf of  ESPN reported  on the growth of eSports and the intersection with the NBA. In an ESPN podcast,  Rockets GM Daryl Morey “expressed his thoughts on the industry,” including that “esports is like 1950s basketball.”

Wolf’s piece continues: “In the interview, [ESPN NBA writer Kevin Arnovitz] asked what Morey thinks of the growing, global recognition of basketball and the NBA. In response, Morey said he believes that esports will be one of the top-watched sports in the future, alongside basketball and soccer, due to global appeal.”

The full podcast can be found here.




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