Each week Ric Serritella provides a glimpse into the latest trends and topics in sports technology, with a look at how they are impacting the football industry.
Want to work in football, but you’re having trouble breaking into the biz? Maybe you’re a video game aficionado? Well, the E-sports Generation has arrived and may have a place for you.
The eSports business is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and it has now officially penetrated the NFL market due to the popularity of Madden Football.
In a recent press release, EA Sports announced that Madden NFL 19 Bowl smashed all previous viewing records, generating 2.5 million views (an 850% increase from last year) on its video stream, hosted by Twitch. In addition, 805,000 people tuned in to watch the one-hour special championship game broadcast on ESPN2. Combined, the two broadcasts averaged 208,000 viewers per minute during the final hour. These are staggering numbers.
The Madden NFL 19 Bowl winner, Drini Gjoka, has now earned nearly $200,000 in career winnings from playing Madden. Not bad for a day job. With the recent boom in interest, you can be sure that new content, sponsors and jobs are on the way. However, this is just the beginning for the eSports platform, which is still in its infancy and has yet to even begin to scratch the surface of its revenue potential.
In other Madden-related news, EA wasted little time capitalizing on the mania by announcing its weekly Madden 20 live-stream and blog. Career mode now features the “Face of the Franchise: QB1 Career Campaign.”
It sounds like a Madden lifer’s dream come true as users create themselves as a quarterback (including face editing) and begin their career at the college ranks. They then go on to choose a school and try to lead a team to a national championship. Once college wraps up, it’s time for the draft process as the user-generated quarterbacks then compete in the combine. How well a player performs dictates draft status.
It’s a long way from our recollection of the original Madden Football, as the brand has become much larger than anyone could’ve possibly imagined.
Kyler Has New Teammate in LeBron: In other video news to emerge from draft week, it was announced that No.1 overall selection Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals has inked a two-year partnership with Uninterrupted, the media production owned by LeBron James. The deal includes Murray providing access for videos to be posted on social media and a feature-length documentary.
“As thrilling as it is to be beginning my career as a NFL player, I also want to be an example early on for all athletes and show that our value extends beyond the field of play,” Murray said in a statement. “Uninterrupted is changing the culture for athletes in our society by empowering them to be more than an athlete.” You can learn more about the project here.
*Do you work in football and want to be in the know? Visit our premium site at InsideTheLeague.comand get an edge on the competition with our insider news and analysis!