If you’re a fan of a traditional sports team, you know that those franchises have no shortage of ways to get you to spend your money to express your fandom. You can buy tickets, merchandise such as jerseys and inflatable thumbs, and other kinds of licensed stuff, and all of that adds up to a lot of money. And KSV eSports cofounder Kent Wakeford expects the competitive-gaming space to replicate that kind of consumer experience and the revenues that go with it.
“With traditional sports, an average fan spends about $50 per year,” Wakeford said during a fireside chat at the GamesBeat Summit in Mill Valley, California, today. “With esports, it’s an average of $5. There’s this big gap, and if you can come in and close it. It’s this 10x opportunity.”
KSV owns multiple esports teams in South Korea, such as the Seoul Dynasty team that plays in Blizzard’s Overwatch League. It also owns pro teams for games like League of Legends and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Squads like the Seoul Dynasty have a lot of fans with deep passion, but is it going to take to get those fans to spend as much money as the average fan of the Milwaukee Brewers from Major League Baseball? Well, the answer to that is more merchandise, new arenas, and a shift in culture, according to Wakeford.
But the KSV executive thinks all of that is happening.
Those aforementioned traditional sports teams are investing throughout the space. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has started an esports team. Multiple NBA franchises have started their own esports counterparts to compete in NBA 2K. Even the professional wrestling…