Esports News Roundup

Just when you think it can’t get any busier in the esports industry, it does. Among the most interesting tidbits was Notre Dame’s decision to put the breaks on its participation on EA Sports College Football rules regarding Name, Image, and Likeness are finalized. See below for more.

Notre Dame Says It Will Wait for Resolution on NIL Rules Before Participating in EA Sports College Football

University of Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said last month that the school will hold off when it comes to embracing EA Sports College Football, at least until rules regarding Name, Image, and Likeness are finalized.

“Notre Dame Athletics welcomes the return of EA Sports College Football, a video game series that has historically helped promote interest in college football,” said Swarbrick. “Notre Dame will not, however, participate in the game until such time as rules have been finalized governing the participation of our student-athletes.

“As those rules are developed, it is our strong desire that student-athletes be allowed to benefit directly from allowing their name, image and performance history to be used in the game.”

Notre Dame was the first school to publicly state it would not be part of the new game unless athletes could be compensated for it.

eFuse Raises $6M from Esports and Gaming Leaders 

eFuse secured $6M in funding from a consortium of leading esports and gaming influencers and professional athletes last month. Billing itself as the “LinkedIn for gamers” the company will utilize new capital to fuel product development, user acquisition, and make key hires as the startup progresses toward profitability in 2021.

Beyond players looking to go pro with esports contracts and celebrity-style ‘partner’ streaming agreements, eFuse’s gamers reflect a broad range of specialties across the gaming industry, according to the company. eFuse users build a profile, share their passions, broadcast their highlight reel, and engage with over 24,000 scholarships, internships, and job postings in design, game development, business, and marketing, among others. 

New England Patriots and New England Revolution Sign Deal to Make Esports Entertainment Group Official Esports Tournament Provider Sponsor 

Esports Entertainment Group, Inc. (EEG) has announced a multiyear sponsorship with Kraft Sports and Entertainment to be the official esports tournament provider sponsor of the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution. As part of the agreement, the company will use Patriots and Revolution marks to promote their bi-annual esports tournaments on its Esports Gaming League (EGL) platform.

As a sponsor of the Patriots and Revolution, EEG will leverage player appearances, tickets, signage, and digital media to promote their events to the local market. It will also work with Kraft Sports and Entertainment to create custom videos that will promote the tournaments and be featured in the teams’ extensive ongoing digital marketing efforts spanning social media, email, mobile, and online channels.

Learfield IMG College Names Eric Hartness Vice President, Esports

Learfield IMG College recently appointed Eric Hartness vice president, esports. This marks the first position of its kind for the company, which made an entry into the college esports space eight months ago.

To accelerate the company’s momentum, Hartness will be a valuable addition to the emerging esports division focusing on developing and expanding the company’s esports strategy and related inventory offerings. In addition to bringing three decades of diverse esports, business and marketing expertise to Learfield IMG College, Hartness brings a strong marketing background with a proven track record leading teams to launch dozens of hit game titles and produce several global esports tournaments at Bandai Namco, Amazon, Electronic Arts and ReKTGlobal.

Hartness is the former vice president, marketing for Bandai Namco and the former head of marketing for Amazon Game Studios. Additionally, he was vice president, marketing for Electronic Arts, where he led global product marketing for Tiger Woods, Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix, The Simpsons, Dead Space, and The Godfather I and II. While at EA, Hartness held other high-level marketing roles involving strategic initiatives supporting Madden NFL and EA SPORTS Fantasy Football.

NHL Announces Multiyear Partnership with DreamHack Sports Games 

The National Hockey League (NHL) has selected DreamHack Sports Games (DHSG), a leader in organizing and producing sports gaming tournaments and live events, to produce online and live esport tournaments under the NHL Gaming World Championship umbrella. 

As part of the multiyear relationship, DreamHack Sports Games will be tasked with producing “hockey’s premier esport events with the NHL through production of compelling content, live streams from tournaments, and influencer-driven competitions. The parties will collaboratively approach the sponsor market and lean on DreamHack Sports Games’ strong relationships with leading brands, including those in the endemic categories and across international territories.”

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