Boston Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck: ‘There will be an eCeltics’

Friday March 24th, 2017

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The Boston Celtics may be the next NBA organization fielding a team for the league’s new 2K eLeague.

On a Forbes SportsMoney podcast earlier this month, Celtics Managing Partner, Governor and Chief Executive Officer Wyc Grousbeck spoke with host Mike Ozanian about how technology is impacting the sports industry.

Asked by Ozanian about the economics of the NBA 2K eLeague, Grousbeck said, “We don’t know what the economics will be yet. We’re still in sort of a trial phase. This first season coming up will be an interesting one. It’ll be more of an R&D season probably versus a full-fledged complete huge thing. We think the economics are real. The teams will each opt-in. The Celtics will be opting in. There will be an eCeltics. We will find players, we will compensate these players. We’ll house them in Boston. They’ll be a team. They will train. There’s training for this. And then we’ll go compete against the other NBA teams in 2K…We will stream these matches.”

A Celtics spokesperson responded to SportTechie about Grousbeck’s comments but didn’t specify if the Celtics would be opting-in to the first group of NBA teams participating in the 2K eLeague, which will include eight to 12 teams to start according to Commissioner Adam Silver.

“It’s safe to say we like the opportunity, and we have notified the NBA of our interest in participating in the eLeague,” the spokesperson wrote, declining further comment. 

Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko even purchased a franchise last August, the Detroit Renegades.

So far, the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings have both said they’ll be one of the first teams participating in the eLeague, which is set to debut in 2018. Earlier this week, the Toronto Raptors said it is planning to be on the ground floor of the eSports league as well.

Executives from the Kings, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat all recently weighed in on the eLeague as they discussed the overlapping synergies between the NBA and eSports along with how the NBA and its teams are continuing to grow their knowledge base.

“We love the way the younger fans are engaging with eSports,” Grousbeck continued on the podcast about why the NBA is venturing into eSports. “Madison Square Garden sells out in six minutes for an eSports event. It’s actually a billion dollar business now worldwide and growing.”

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