Jul 19, 2019

The next big esports battleground: player contracts

Photo: Press Focus/MB Media via Getty Images

A lawsuit from esports star Turner "Tfue" Tenney against the Faze Clan — alleging the organization takes 80% of his sponsorship revenue — has put a spotlight on how contracts in the industry are structured.

Why it matters: Tenny's situation could become a benchmark for the industry.

How it works: It's common for esports teams to bring in sponsors for individual players, take a percentage and block players from working with other competing sponsors.

  • Imagine LeBron James paying the Lakers a percentage of every Nike check and being blocked from making that money up elsewhere. That's why players are fighting it.

Reality check: The industry is projected to make $460 million in sponsorships and advertising in 2019. Most esports teams make a majority of their money from sponsorships and they're going to fight hard to keep it that way until they find new revenue streams.

What's next: We've already seen some unionization efforts around the industry with CounterStrike and the Overwatch league. Expect to see more as this battle plays out.

Go deeper: Industry veterans fear an esports bubble

Go deeper

Soccer jerseys are prime real estate for advertisers and sponsors

Photo: Matthew Ashton/AMA/Getty Images

The Premier League is home to some of the world's most valuable sports teams. So, naturally, it's also home to some of the world's most valuable sports real estate: the uniforms those teams wear.

How it works: Premier League teams make money from their uniforms, or "kits," in two ways: apparel deals and sponsorship deals.

Go deeperArrowAug 12, 2019

The Dallas Cowboys are the world's most valuable sports franchise

Data: Forbes; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

The numbers are in from Forbes' analysis of the world's most valuable sports teams — your annual reminder of just how lucrative the sports industry has become.

The big picture: Seven years ago, Manchester United was the world's only pro sports franchise worth more than $2 billion. Today, every franchise in the top 50 is now worth at least $2 billion.

Go deeperArrowJul 23, 2019

Pennsylvania teen wins $3 million in Fortnite tournament

Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf celebrates winning Fortnite World Cup at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City. Photo: Eric Ananmalay/ESPAT Media/Getty Images

Kyle Giersdorf, a 16-year-old from Pennsylvania, won the solo event at the inaugural Fortnite World Cup on Sunday, taking home $3 million in the process.

Why it matters: Such prizes show there is real money to be made in the booming esports arena, but lots people on Twitter on Sunday pondered whether such winnings are overglorifying the economic prospects for playing video games.

Go deeperArrowJul 29, 2019