Based on a recent job ad, it appears the MLS (Major League Soccer) is attempting to move in to the esports and gaming sector.
The role, titled “Manager, esports and gaming” and based in New York, seeks someone with “5-8+ years of experience in sports and/or eSports/gaming marketing” to facilitate the launch of MLS esports and gaming initiatives.
In the job overview, it is detailed that: “MLS and SUM [Soccer United Marketing] are continually looking for new channels to serve and grow our fan base. eSports and gaming are an exciting avenue for MLS and SUM to achieve these goals. Candidates applying for this position should have an understanding of the gaming space and a passion to grow the sport of soccer through this rich engagement channel.”
Other key responsibilities of note include:
- Manage execution of MLS esports and gaming programming components, including live events, content, sponsorships, etc.
- Advise and assist Clubs in developing and executing esports and gaming strategies
- Integrate gaming into additional MLS and SUM programming priorities
- Support the development of MLS Big Events
It is particularly interesting to see MLS talking about programming and live events, as well as ‘MLS Big Events’ – an as-yet unspecified product.
With so many North American sports teams and figureheads involved in esports, it seemed only a matter of time before MLS got involved too. It would be interesting to see if it followed a similar route to that of the NBA and NFL, where franchises within each league are selecting players to represent them in NBA 2K18 and Madden NFL 18 respectively. Alternatively, with ideas such as ‘Big Events’ and a focus on programming and live events, it could be that MLS simply wants to host esport events – maybe even as a stop on the Road to the FIFA 18 eWorld Cup.
With New York City FC already claiming a representative FIFA player, it appears they were one step ahead of MLS – or maybe it was an MLS-recommended test run.
With the MLS now getting involved in the space, it adds yet more validity to the topic of our ESI Super Forum event in London on March 22nd. This one day conference, with six panel sessions and 30 speakers, an esports exhibition zone for companies, tournaments and plenty of networking, will focus on the crossover of sports and esports. Anyone interested can find out more here, and message sam@esportsinsider for more information.
Esports Insider says: As mentioned, it was only a matter of time before MLS followed its American brethren into esports. We’ve been wanting to see the Premier League follow a similar path to what the NBA and NFL are doing with their main respective games, but it looks like MLS could be getting there first. We’ll have to wait and see where MLS is going with this – but it looks exciting.