Announced in a media release on Monday, the NBA team, the Philadelphia 76ers have announced that they’ve acquired the eSports teams, Team Dignitas and Team Apex, and will be connecting the two eSports’ franchises under the Dignitas banner. By doing this, not only will the 76ers be the first ownership group of a North American sports franchise to acquire an eSports team, but they’ll also be able to share their knowledge of managing sponsorships, sales, branding, digital marketing, merchandising, publicity, and plenty more; something that the NBA obviously does extremely well.
By merging the two eSports teams together under the same banner, Team Apex will bring their gaming skills as well as their hugely popular League of Legends team with other great games including Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and Smite. Michael “ODEE” O’Dell will head the newly formed Team Dignitas’ team operations as President, with former Team Apex General Manager, Michael Slan, being given the role of Vice President and General Manager.
Philadelphia 76ers Managing Partner, Josh Harris stated:
“The eSports industry is primed for incredible growth and we are thrilled to become an owner of such a storied franchise as Team Dignitas. There is a tremendous opportunity to leverage the infrastructure, resources and experience of the Sixers organization to support these exciting teams as they continue to compete at the highest levels across multiple games. We see our entrance into eSports as a natural extension of our expanding interests in traditional sports and entertainment and are confident that our involvement will accelerate the already rapid pace of growth in eSports as a whole.”
The 76ers stand with other internationally renowned sports team, Manchester City, after they signed their first FIFA eSports player this previous June.