Philadelphia sports marketing and management firm Playfly Sports has announced the acquisition of Collegiate StarLeague (CSL) and WorldGaming Network (WGN).
Playfly Sports will “concentrate on enhancing the amateur esports-athlete experience and increasing opportunities for participation on high school and college campuses nationwide,” the company said in a release. Both Collegiate StarLeague and WorldGaming Network will continue to operate under their independent brands.
Complementing acquisition of CSL and WGN is the creation of Playfly Sports’ esports division. The new company arm will be manned by Nerd Street Gamers COO and Philadelphia Flyers executive Rob Johnson, who will step down from his current role on October 2nd.
Johnson commented on the deal in a release: “This dynamic new partnership will enable us to expand innovative esports offerings to existing and potential partners in college, high school, and traditional sports. I’m looking forward to working closely with Wim and Michael in making Playfly Sports esports’ industry leader.”
Collegiate StarLeague is a college esports event operator with over 1,800 schools and 11,000 teams across its network. CSL will operate as a subsidiary of Playfly Sports and continue to offer online league operations, intramural leagues, curriculum development, and on-campus events.
Wim Stocks, CEO of Collegiate StarLeague, who will serve as Chairman of Playfly Sports’ esports entity, added: “With strong relationships across all four major professional sports leagues, we have a great opportunity to help traditional sports leagues and organizations connect with the fans and drive new forms of engagement,” added Stocks. “Playfly Sports gives us a scale platform to extend the reach of our industry-leading offerings and help entities navigate the world of esports.”
WorldGaming Network, an amateur and semi-professional esports tournament company, helps to “elevate” aspiring esports athletes. The organiser holds partnerships with four major North American sports leagues including the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, and will offer custom event operation services also as a subsidiary of Playfly Sports.
Playfly Sports, whose investors include Baltimore-based investment firm Access Holdings and media company Sinclair Broadcast Group, is led by Founder and CEO Michael Schreiber. Previously, Schreiber served as a General Partner at SeventySix Capital, a sports venture fund, and was a founding member of subscription video service Hulu.
“At Playfly Sports, we are committed to advancing the mission of student-athletes and believe that bringing CSL and WGN into the Playfly family will enable us to reach new students and enhance the experience of existing gamers,” said Schreiber. “We are also looking for new partnerships with institutions focused on growth and innovation and believe esports will be a significant part of the future.”
Esports Insider says: It’s certainly a red-letter day for both Collegiate StarLeague and WorldGaming Network as they see their companies through to acquisition. Between the pair’s market share and newfound connections deep in the traditional sports industry, we forecast there will be a vast amount of opportunities opened up through this deal.