The gap between the esports space and traditional sports was narrowed even further last week, as Roc Nation bolstered its position in the former sector.

Breaking down the biggest esports stories of the week in the latest ESI Digest, Tom Daniels, Sub-Editor of Esports Insider, lauded the move as ‘a really big deal’ and highlighted the marketing opportunities that could come about from it.

The major announcement concerned Roc Nation Sports, the sports management division of Jay Z’s Roc Nation entertainment company, forming a partnership with Gaming Community Network (GCN).

Under the terms of the Roc Nation will work to create ‘gaming solutions’ and ‘athlete centric strategies’ for esports competitors, with the duo collaborating on esports tournaments, gaming content production and live streaming events.

The multi-year partnership also includes content creation, which will be distributed across a multitude of gaming and esports centric websites, via GCN’s platform.

Daniels remarked: “I think this is a really big deal, we’re seeing more and more traditional sports athletes trying to go into esports and into gaming as a marketing tool to build up their brand. 

“This definitely seems like it’s going to use esports as a marketing ability to build up brands of the Roc Nation Sports’ clientele and their athletes. We may also get some of these athletes into gaming and the esports sector which could lead to greater investments into the future. 

“Overall I think for esports and for GCN and for Roc Nation sports, This is a great deal which is actually utilising a sector that is slowly growing to build other peoples profiles.”

In other esports management news, North American esports group FaZe Clan last week secured a strategy investment from Cox Enterprises as part of a wider partnership between the two organisations, although financial details have not been disclosed.

The duo first began collaborating in 2019, when FaZe allied with Atlanta Esports Ventures (AEZ), a joint venture between Cox Enterprises and Provenance which created the Atlanta FaZe Call of Duty League franchise.

“This deal signifies for me the continued momentum that FaZe has been having over the last 12 months,” Daniels commented. “They had the sports illustrated cover, they’ve also secured a range of partnerships with Hyprex and Tatinos, and they’ve announced a multitude of collaborations within apparel and within lifestyle gaming as well. 

“Overall while there isn’t much to say about this partnership it does highlight that FaZe is going in the right direction, for Cox Enterprises to double down on their investment and invest purely in just in phase themselves and not through this joint venture.

“I think it will be very interesting to see how this investment is spent, what will happen and if there will be more partnership opportunities, and we’ll probably find that out in the next 12 months or so.”

This weeks ESI Digest saw Daniels break down additional stories across the esports scene, including the naming of Nick ‘LS’ DeCesare and Tim ‘Nemesis’ Lipovšek as Co-Owners of Mobalytics, ESL Gaming’s partnership with Israeli mobile video game developer Plarium and the creation of the T1 Esports Academy (TEA).

Source – Esports Insider YouTube Channel

ESI Digest: Jay Z’s Roc Nation strengthens esports presence