New York Yankees Enter Esports Arena; 'Ecosystem' Includes Walter Day's Twin Galaxies

Posted On: 10/20/2017

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NEW YORK CITY -- The New York Yankees, baseball's most valuable team, announced on Oct. 19 an investment partnership with Vision Esports, the largest single shareholder of three esports-related companies. The two organizations will create and manage an "ecosystem" of esports properties that include Echo Fox, Twin Galaxies and Vision Entertainment.

The game plan is to accelerate the growth and increase the global brand awareness of the three companies. Echo Fox, a leading professional esports organization founded by three-time NBA Champion Rick Fox; Twin Galaxies, a one-of-a-kind league operator considered an authority on performance validation, statistics and skill indexes; and Vision Entertainment, a studio that creates esports-specific content for scripted and non-scripted platforms.

Vision Esports is led by general partners Stratton Sclavos, Jace Hall and Chris Nordli. The size of the investment was not disclosed.

"The New York Yankees are thrilled to partner with Vision Esports and its diverse portfolio of esports companies," said Hal Steinbrenner, managing general partner and co-chairperson of New York Yankees. "Guided by an impressively skilled and sports-savvy leadership team, Vision Esports is transcending the industry with a bold, innovative approach to their business, and we are excited to enter into this dynamic arena as their partner."

Steinbrenner said the Yankees, which is valued at $3.7 billion, will bring its considerable marketing, sales and partnership experience to help all three companies accelerate their growth and expand their business relationships.

The Yankees and Vision Esports leadership will mirror management of the three esports properties in a manner very similar to traditional professional sports properties. This philosophy includes seeking to maximize revenue opportunities for advertising, sponsorships, media and broadcast rights, merchandise and ticket sales, naming rights and original content programming for both broadcast and streaming distribution formats. In addition, the Yankees and Vision Esports will collaborate on marketing and sponsorship initiatives across assets.

Echo Fox was formed in January 2016. The organization consists of 10 teams in 12 competitive gaming leagues. Echo Fox teams compete in League of Legends, Call of Duty, Gears of War, Vainglory and H1Z1 pro leagues. It boasts the world's best Fighting Games team competing in the Street Fighter, Injustice 2, Smash Brothers and Tekken professional circuits.

Twin Galaxies, founded by historian Walter Day 35 years ago in Ottumwa, IA, is considered the authority for videogame performance validation and player rankings. It records and publishes player statistics, skill indexes and certified world records in all gaming categories. In October 2017, it announced a new Pro League Division to create, govern and operate new professional esports leagues in partnership with leading videogame publishers.

Vision Entertainment is a producer of original esports content in scripted and unscripted formats. It broadcasts five weekly and daily esports or competitive gaming shows on Facebook Live, to reach a combined audience of more than two million.