Owners Of Warriors And Wizards Now In The World Of EsportsSeptember 26, 2016 Via Forbes
Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber and Washington Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis have put their basketball-related differences aside and joined together to acquire the esports franchise Team Liquid. The announcement comes one day after the Philadelphia 76ers revealed that it, as an organization, purchased two esports teams in a multi-million dollar deal.
The most eye-catching feature of Team TISI +NaN% Liquid’s purchase is the plethora of influential people who were rounded up by Guber and Leonsis to participate in the partnership. The investing co-owners list is a who’s who of the worlds of business and professional sports.
Leonsis brought in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which owns and operates the Wizards, Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics and AFL’s Washington Valor. He is also responsible for adding Steve Case, who was the co-founder of AOL AOL +0% and is currently Chairman & CEO of Revolution.
Additionally, the group is joined by Hall of Fame basketball player Magic Johnson, life and business strategist Tony Robbins, Los Angeles Dodgers CFO Tucker Cain, Warriors President/COO Rick Welts, Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell, former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones, and numerous others.
“The key to our future success will be to bring the resources and resourcefulness of our ownership group to Victor [Goossens], Steve [Arhancet] and the team they built,” said Guber. “Ted, myself and the individuals that comprise our ownership group have an enormous wealth of experience and talents across virtually every major media and sports business category.” Goossens and Arhancet were the owners of Team Liquid and will remain co-CEOs as well as serving as Directors of the esports team.
This is likely just the start of investments in esports for Guber and Leonsis. They are now operating under an ownership group called aXiomatic that has plans to build a broad-based esports enterprise reaching far beyond reaping rewards derived from Team Liquid.
The acquisition of Team Liquid is a strong beginning for aXiomatic. Team Liquid is one of the more popular and successful esports teams, competing with vigor in a variety of games. It has also amassed a valuable sponsorship portfolio with partners like HTC, Quest Nutrition and Alienware.
Behind closed doors, many of the wealthiest, most notable and well-known individuals are conducting due diligence regarding the esports industry. They are trying to determine how they can enter the industry at the lowest cost while earning the most potential reward for their investments. The process for Guber and Leonsis began ten months ago, which makes sense considering the sheer number of high-profile investors who have joined Guber and Leonsis in making this esports investment.
Image via: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg