Engine Shop has today announced the acquisition of SA Studios Global’s esports and football divisions.
Notably, as a part of this arrangement, the leadership team of Scott Debson, and Jamie King, Co-founder of Rockstar Games will be joining the group too.
Engine Shop has made this move in order to bolster its ‘esports strategy, content and live event production capabilities’. In addition, the release noted that it ‘is also the springboard to launching a new international soccer practice’. The agency is already working with a number of pro sports clubs in relation to their esports strategies, and they’re the production lead for the NHL’s esports activities.
This addition follows on from the agency’s 2017 acquisition of The Gamer Agency, an esports strategy, event production, and content development company.
Debson, who co-founded SA, will be leading the development of the agency’s plans and ambitions in US soccer but will also have esports on his radar in his new role. Having worked with numerous Fortune 100 brands ‘developing lifestyle and cultural marketing strategies and campaigns’, including the Major League Soccer, Umbro, Machinima, MetroPCS and Bob Marley Music.
Another significant part of the acquisition is that Engine Shop is now the US agency for Umbro and will also act as the lead agency for the eMLS. The inaugural competition for this took place at PAX East in Boston over 5-8th April. This is on top of its work operating the Mixer NYC Studio for the Microsoft 5th Avenue Flagship in New York City.
King meanwhile will have esports as his main focus and has now become Executive Vice President Esports, for Engine Shop. He is well versed when it comes to video games and has taken a leading role in the development teams responsible for the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead and more.
Since 2012 he has focused instead on esports and livestream production working with clients such as Microsoft and T-Mobile.
He and Debson will report to Brian Godon, Engine Shop CEO and Chris Handy, Engine Shop President.
Brian Gordon, Engine Shop CEO commented: “Quickly, we have established our esports capabilities on par with our collection of best-in-class services in global sports and entertainment. We have the same aspirations for our new global football practice.“
“All of this is built around a deeply talented and creative team and now we add to that with renowned pioneers in esports and global football who know where and how to captivate audiences. It’s another in a series of moves with more ahead, that has our team and our clients very excited.”
Speaking to Esports Insider, he added: “We have built a formidable esports practice with the foremost experts in the space and we are going to turn them loose to explore every potential opportunity for our business. First and foremost we will continue to serve publishers, global brands, leagues, and teams to formulate their strategies and understand the myriad of opportunities the marketplace offers them. In time, we will expand into creating our own event-driven businesses with the right partners.
“All of what we are doing is approached from a global perspective which is one of the many areas that Scott, Jamie, and their teams excel. Our goal is to help our partners navigate the convergence of interest and opportunity with bold ideas and play an integral role in shaping the future of esports. Today was a major statement about how are uniquely qualified to do that.”
Esports Insider says: An agency which already works with ‘a number of pro sports clubs’, with the NHL and more, the Engine Shop clearly means business. The acquisition of SA Studios Global looks a smart move, particularly with the addition of Debson and King to the team. We look forward to seeing what the Engine Shop delivers!