Team Dignitas and Apex Gaming have been acquired by the Philadelpha 76ers. The acquisition marks the first time a North American sports franchise has acquired an Esports team
The Philadelphia 76ers announce that they have acquired a controlling stake in Team Dignitas and Team Apex to merge the two prominent eSports organizations into one franchise, Team Dignitas.
The merge will mark Dignitas to be a powerhouse franchise in the most popular games of eSports: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Smite, Heroes of the Storm, and League of Legends. This is the first time that a group of owners in a professional North American sports franchise have taken stake to acquire an eSports team.
The transition with the new owners will allow the franchise to capitalize on the experience and vast expertise the owners share in the sports industry. The sixers will manage everyday operations of Team Dignitas, which will consist of creating the best environment for sponsorship, sales, branding, digital marketing, merchandising, player recruiting, and overall development.
Greg Richardson will be chairman of the new Team Dignitas franchise, Michael O’ Dell will be in charge of leading the new merge as President of the franchise, and former Team Apex General Manager Michael Slan will becom the Vice President and General Manager of Dignitas. The Sixers worked directly with WME-IMG, who represented Team Dignitas in the acquisition, and partnered with NextEquity, a growth equity and venture capital firm.
According to the Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil, ““The attractiveness of this deal is as much about the people as it is the opportunity. Bringing together gaming industry luminaries including Greg Richardson, Michael O’Dell and David and Michael Slan puts us on track to build the most respected and dominant franchise in the eSports space, spur fan engagement and reimagine corporate sponsorship to create a vibrant, global e-arena where the greatest players in the world aspire to compete.”
“We intend to build a fan-first team that aspires for excellence in all aspects of the business from attracting premier playing talent to building out merchandising, sponsorships and broadcast rights,” said Greg Richardson, Chairman of Team Dignitas. “The eSports market was started and built by its players and fans, creating one of the most vibrant and passionate communities anywhere. Dignitas embraces the unique origins of eSports and looks forward to working closely with its community to take the industry to the next level.”