Italian basketball team Orlandina Basket has entered the esports industry through a partnership with player development company Pro2Be Esports.
Pro2Be Esports helps to develop players’ lives from “mental coaching to communication management” and will manage Orlandina Basket’s esports division – including the marketing and promotion of the brand.
Giuseppe Lanfranchi, Head of Marketing for Orlandina Basket discussed the venture: “Orlandina Basket has a strategic vision of its clear future. The decision to land in the export market reflects the innovative spirit and dynamism of our company, which wants to expand its fan base and seize all the emerging business opportunities in the sport industry, including the esports.”
Orlandina Basket’s first step in esports was to sign the team formerly known as QM Nation. The roster – which will be known as Orlandina Esports – will represent the basketball club in both online and offline competitions both locally and internationally.
Roberto Forzano, Co-founder of Pro2Be Esports added: “We are pleased to have signed this important partnership with Orlandina Basket, and being the first in Italy to create an initiative of this kind is therefore a source of pride for us. We also thank the company for the trust shown. Getting to the top of the NBA2K title gives that extra strength to the initiative, but it will be just as important to feed this project day by day.”
NBA 2K rose to new heights in term of prominence in esports with the launch of the NBA 2K League. In August, four expansion teams joined the competition ahead of its second season – upping the competition from 17 teams to 21. Its inaugural season kicked off in May of this year to a modest start, debuting with 5,000-6,000 concurrent viewers.
Esports Insider says: It’s unclear just how valuable it is entering NBA 2K if you can’t compete in the official league, but it’s good to see an international club dabble in the industry. It’s not a very adventurous venture as Orlandina Basket is staying within its wheelhouse with basketball, but it’s no different to football clubs entering FIFA – a very common occurrence in 2018.