Esports is a “cultural revolution,” equivalent in significance to the advent of the internet or the mobile phone, according to sport industry veteran Garry Cook.
The executive chairman of Gfinity, a former CEO of Manchester City, whose 30+-year career has also included leadership spells at UFC and Nike, told the Sport Industry Breakfast Club this morning that the sector’s growth to-date represents “the tip of the iceberg.”
He said: “My career has always been about finding the consumers.
“The consumer always decides – and in this case the consumer has decided. 2.2bn players is not a trend, it’s a cultural revolution.”
Cook was speaking at the BT Centre ahead of next year’s inaugural ePremier League, which will be operated by Gfinity on behalf of the Premier League and EA Sports, publisher of the FIFA ’19 title on which the tournament will be played.
Cook spoke about the growing convergence between esports and traditional sports – and the opportunities for traditional sports rightsholders to grow their audience through “parallel” properties.
He said: “We’ve made sport too exclusive through elite athletes. The future is more inclusivity. 90% of soccer players are gamers. That’s an insight fans need to see. They can play against the pros in FIFA 19”
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