It’s always fun to try to identify The Next Big Thing. Doesn’t matter what it is. It’s just cool to be able to say, “Hey, I called that.”
The Next Big Thing – at least in the sports world – is E Gaming.
“This thing has really taken off the last three or four years,” Madden host Larry Ridley said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “It’s going to be a billion-dollar industry here in the next year or two. You’re starting to see it on Linear TV. With Madden, our championships, we’re on NFL Network. You’ve got Street Fighter and stuff like that on TBS. We just did Rocket League on NBC Sports this past couple of weekends. The championship is in two weeks out in Santa Ana, and it’s going to be at the eSports Arena, so you’re going to have thousands of people there watching these guys play a game that’s rocket-propelled cars playing soccer. It’s called Soccar.”
Soccer. Car. Get it?
“That’s what you get from a lot of people,” Ridley said, chuckling. “Pay attention, man. I’m telling you, this thing – if they do it right, take the small steps – this can be another form of sports entertainment coming in the future.”
As Ridley explained, advertisers covet the 13-to-21-year-old demographic – and E Gaming is a way to get it.
“They’re locked and loaded,” Ridley said. “(It’s) a really tight-knit community, they all cheer for each other and they’re all there for each other. We had 100,000 people watching on stream on the NBC Sports app when we did the rocket league last weekend here in New York. So it’s there. In Madden, we gave away a million dollars last year. Michael Skimbo was the Madden ’17 champ (and) won over $150,000 in earnings last year. . . . So this whole industry, just watch that space. Watch it.”