November 3, 2017

You Played in the NBA? Rick Fox Embraces Esports

As a three-time National Basketball Association champion and actor, Rick Fox is used to fans asking him about his years with the Los Angeles Lakers or his stint on HBO’s “Oz.”

What he’s still getting used to: Fans who want to know about his pro videogame squad.

In esports, fans watch videogame players compete with high-end gear, matching jerseys and other traditional sports hallmarks. Most watch on free live-streaming platforms like Twitch, though some buy tickets to live events. The orange-and-white logo Mr. Fox wears for his team, Echo Fox, is becoming more familiar to people than his own face, he said.

Echo Fox’s profile is getting another lift from an alignment with Major League Baseball. Last month, the New York Yankees signed a partnership agreement with Vision Esports, an investment vehicle run by the private-equity firm Mr. Fox co-founded.

The Yankees partnership is part of a $25 million to $30 million funding round, expected to close in coming weeks, that will make Vision Esports the largest shareholder in Echo Fox, a person familiar with the matter said. Echo Fox and the Yankees declined to comment on the exact size of the Yankees’ participation.

Read the full article here.