Simon Equity Development – a subsidiary of American commercial real estate company Simon Property Group – is set to become a shareholder in Allied Esports through an investment in parent company Black Ridge Acquisition Corp.
Simon and Black Ridge have entered a letter agreement that will see the former acquire $5 million (£3.96 million) in shares of the latter.
Simon and Allied Esports, post-investment, will collaborate on creating gaming venues and production facilities in select Simon malls across the United States. The in-mall arenas will be designed for competition though they will have the option to be “expanded into common areas” for activations and live events.
Mark Silvestri, Executive Vice President – Corporate Real Estate at Simon Property Group discussed the investment: “We’re extremely pleased to collaborate with Black Ridge and Allied Esports, leading innovators in esports and gaming, to bring cutting-edge venues to our iconic properties around the country. This is exactly the type of innovative activation that excites our customers and drives traffic for our centers at Simon. Simon’s successful locations are ideally suited to provide these new and exciting community spaces, complementing our other dynamic offerings.”
The two companies will also work together on a co-branded event, The Simon Cup. Described in a release as both an esports competition and festival, regional tournaments will be hosted in Simon’s properties in New York and Los Angeles – leading to a grand final that will take place at the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas.
Lyle Berman, Director of Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. added: “The agreement with Simon is a landmark opportunity to bring Allied Esports’ vision for the future of competitive gaming to Simon’s world class property network. As we work to close the transaction combining our NASDAQ-listed Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. with Allied Esports and WPT, the significant investment by Simon would be a testament to our unrivaled plans and to the opportunity Simon sees to participate in this growing industry.”
Mexican television network TV Azteca entered a term sheet agreement with Black Ridge in June that will also see it become a shareholder in Allied Esports through a $5 million (£3.96 million) investment.
Esports Insider says: Allied Esports has grand ambitions and it certainly appears as if prominent companies outside of esports are buying into its vision. Simon is a major player in the commercial real estate space and the company creating in-mall arenas and events is just further proof of the demand for esports venues of all shapes and sizes.