Why are top sports stars investing in Esports?

celebrity esports investments
Kevin Larsen
Kevin Larsen, Chief Editor

The Esports industry has been growing at a very rapid pace. According to various studies, this industry will have a cumulative viewership of 646 million by 2023. The same year, this industry will touch the $1.5 billion mark in revenues. These figures demonstrate that Esports is now a part of the mainstream sporting industry.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that several top sports stars have invested in this business area. Let’s take a look at some of these celebrities.

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Top stars investing in Esports

This list includes familiar faces from around the sports world – I guarantee you’ll know them all.

Michael Jordan

Arguably the greatest NBA player of all time, Michael Jordan has invested in aXiomatic, parent company of Team Liquid. He joined other sports celebrities, such as Tampa Bay Lightning Owner, Jeff Vinik, and Golden State Warrior’s Peter Guber in finalizing this investment.
Jordan’s aXiomatic is no pushover in the esports space.

According to Forbes, Team Liquid is worth $200 million currently. This company has another NBA great in its ranks, Magic Johnson.

Shaquille O'Neal

There are not many from the NBA better known than Shaq, and you would be amazed to know that he had invested in NRG Esports way back in 2016. This legendary player was impressed by the Esports concept in one of the CES events, where he saw the intersection of the internet, sports, and fans. NRG Esports is a leading player in the digital version of basketball and other sports.

Kevin Durant

It was reported that Durant and Odell Beckham, Jr. invested $38million into Vison Esports. This e-sports only investment firm was launched by the NBA legend, Rick Fox. Like Durant, Fox too believed in the power of digital sports. These days Durant, who has won multiple championships while at Golden Warrior, is the owner of Echo Fox, one of the top teams in the esports space.

Mike Tyson

The world-famous pugilist has invested in an esports team, Fade 2 Karma. This team has built a state-of-the-art live streaming platform for its players. Called The Ranch House, this platform includes the telecast of various tournaments, content studios, and so on. This is Tyson’s second attempt at managing esports.

Odell Beckham, Jr.

Beckham has joined MLB and NBA players in the esports space by investing in Vision Esports, way back in 2018. This mercurial player made his mark in an unbelievable novice campaign that saw him transform him into one of the best receivers. Beckham has played for Cleveland Browns, and New York Giants.

Michael Strahan

He was a powerful defensive linesman during his NFL days. After his retirement, Strahan found a quieter job as a commentator on “Good Morning America”. However, this hasn’t stopped him from investing in NRG Esports.

Steph Curry

Besides being a formidable player on the court, Curry is also an astute businessman. He led an investment team to fund TSM. Sources suggest that the funding was to the tune of $37million. Curry was joined in this endeavor by Warriors teammate Andre Igoudala, and ex-quarterback Steve Young.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

This list would be incomplete without the iconic Ibrahamovic. He, along with Alibaba has provided $17 million to an esports platform, Challengermode. This platform is expected to drive fan engagement, and monetize the content.

Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo has been one of the greatest sporting sensations the world has seen. After he took a break from his rigorous schedule in 2017, the maverick footballer invested substantially in an esports club, CNB. In that deal, Ronaldo bought out half of the entire shareholding along with two global poker influencers.

David Beckham

Beckham has invested in Guild Esports, an esport company that aspires to bridge between sports and their digital counterparts. The investee company of Guild, Blue Star Sports developing talent in the gaming industry.

To Sum Up

The convergence of technology and sport has led to the emergence of the esports market. As we have seen in this article, many sporting greats, such as Beckham have invested in this industry. As the market evolves, we shall see even more super stars joining in as investors. Surely, this doesn’t look like a fad. Rather, it is a trend and this business model seems profitable as well.