Houston Rockets first NBA team to hire eSports executive for front office

Friday December 2nd, 2016

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Sebastian Park is the newest member of the Houston Rockets business team but his involvement will be unlike anything traditionally seen in sports.

As the new Director of eSports Development, Park is the first eSports executive to have a position within a NBA front office, according to Bloomberg.

The 25-year-old Park will help the organization wade through the murky gaming waters to better understand how it can capitalize on an industry that is expected to surpass a billion dollars in revenue by 2019.

“A lot of people look at eSports myopically, as something that needs to explode in the next week to make ends meet, and I was there, I ran a team in that manner,” Park told Bloomberg. “The Rockets can approach this not from the perspective of a start-up, but as an organization that can make bets with the purpose of being a major player in this space.”

According to Park, the Rockets will “look at everything” — including buying teams and getting involved from an events standpoint — in terms of how the organization can get involved with the growing phenomenon of gaming.

The team is certainly not alone in its entry into eSports, especially in the basketball world. In late Sept., the Philadelphia 76ers became the first U.S. professional sports team to purchase eSports franchises while around the same time, a handful of sports team owners acquired Team Liquid.

Over the last 12 months, there has been a constant and continuous overlap of other traditional sports players hedges their gaming bets. Last November, Shaquille O’Neal, Alex Rodriguez and Jimmy Rollins invested in NRG eSports and former Los Angeles Lakers forward Rick Fox purchased a team for a reported $1 million.

Even current players, like Jeremy Lin of the Brooklyn Nets and Jonas Jerebko with the Boston Celtics, are diving into the space, too.

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