Esports is rapidly becoming the hot way to expand your brand, as multiple celebrities, major brands and sports stars have started investing in and sponsoring leading teams and organizations.
Back in October, rap music legend Drake purchased a stake in 100 Thieves, a Los Angeles-based lifestyle, apparel and esports company while Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan has made his first major investment in the esports industry, leading a $26 million financing round for aXiomatic, owner of TeamLiquid, which is considered to be the second most valuable team in the industry.
Now, two more rap sensations, Lil Yachty and Soulja Boy, have made the leap into esports.
Last week, Soulja Boy revealed that he wants to start his own organization that would feature teams in numerous esports games such as Fortnite, Call of Duty, and Counter-Strike. Soulja Boy notes that Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has helped him learn the “business” of esports and even expressed interest in working with Ninja once his contract with Luminosity comes to an end.
More recently, Lil Yachty announced that he would be joining esports organization FaZe Clan, a year after originally teasing the idea. As part of the new collaboration, Lil Yachty will play under the name ‘FaZe Boat’ and will soon launch a line of merchandise.
Esports viewership in 2018 is projected to grow 15% to 165 million and total yearly revenue on pace for $906 million. A recent report on esports fundraising reveals that the 12 highest-value teams are collectively worth a whopping $1.7 billion.