PHILADELPHIA 76ERS TO PARTICIPATE IN NBA 2K LEAGUE’S INAUGURAL SEASON ALONGSIDE 16 OTHER NBA TEAMS
SIXERS WILL UTILIZE EXPERIENCE, SUCCESS AND RESOURCES FROM TEAM DIGNITAS ESPORTS TEAM TO SUPPORT NEW NBA 2K LEAGUE
PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 4, 2017 – The Philadelphia 76ers announced today its intent to participate in the inaugural season of the NBA 2K eSports League, set to debut in 2018. The Sixers join 16 other teams, including the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics in the endeavor, which was announced in February 2017 by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. NBA 2K is currently the highest-rated and highest-revenue-generating sports title in North America and the second-highest sports game globally. Team play within the league will consist of five players utilizing original avatars; additional details on player selection, team branding and league structure will be announced in the coming months. To support its NBA 2K league team, the Sixers will draw upon the success of its eSports franchise, Team Dignitas, which fields six teams in five of eSports most popular games, including League of Legends and Heroes of the Storm.
In September 2016, the Sixers became the first professional sports team in North America to acquire and manage an eSports franchise, Team Dignitas. In a few short months, the Sixers and Team Dignitas have made a sizable impact on the eSports industry, including a recent announcement that Team Dignitas would become the first eSports team in North America to live stream to Facebook’s audience of 1.86 million as well as Twitch. In February 2017, Team Dignitas signed the first all-women’s team in their 13-year history. Team Dignitas’ women’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive team quickly established their place as one of the most elite and sought-after squads in the world; achieving a second-place finish at the 2016 Intel Challenge Katowice in Poland.
“Under the Philadelphia 76ers leadership and guidance, Team Dignitas has solidified its place as one of the most accessible and compelling brands in the eSports space today,” said Team Dignitas CEO Jonathan Kemp. “With the announcement of the NBA 2K league, forward-thinking franchises, like the Sixers, further cement their position as true innovators and leaders in the sports industry. The NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers, Team Dignitas and NBA 2K are storied, global brands with massive international fanbases eager for player access, original content, live events and more. When you combine that industry experience and desire to grow the game of basketball with the eSport fan’s insatiable appetite for content and access, the result will be a league of epic proportions for fan, players, brands and the league.”
“Our experience with Team Dignitas over the past few months gives us an incredible advantage as we launch this new league. Our ability to pull eSports expertise and industry acumen from our Team Dignitas executives and best practices in organizational infrastructure, branding and marketing, corporate partnerships and fan engagement from our Sixers front office makes this league a perfect pairing,” said Philadelphia 76ers Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnership and Activation Chad Biggs. “We’ve created strong relationships with game developers, come to a better understanding of the training and development needs of the eSports athletes, and generated corporate partnerships that give brands a direct portal into this burgeoning market. In addition to the new live streaming opportunities our Facebook partnership will provide fans and partners, we look forward to announcing three new corporate partnerships with dynamic activation elements in the next four months.”
“In working closely with the Philadelphia 76ers for the past eight years, I can attest to its reputation as a fearless, innovative organization,” said NBA 2K eSports league Managing Director Brendan Donohue. “Its existing investment in the eSports space with Team Dignitas will enable them to share tremendous insight and experience across our league as we take the NBA 2K global phenomenon to even greater heights.”
The complete list of NBA teams participating in the league is as follows: Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.