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E3 and Fortnite + Nike

Fortnite x Air Jordans, Riot Games governing body for collegiate esports

Two Interesting Points from this Week:

1) Epic Games launches Fortnite and Nike Air Jordans crossover

Epic Games, the owner of Fortnite, have partnered with Nike to provide an in-game digital item purchase of Air Jordans. These exclusive outfits are available for 1,800 V-Bucks, which is the in-game currency for Fortnite. For reference, this is equivalent to $18 (USD) to purchase this outfit. You can also unlock different color options by completing various challenges within the game.

These types of partnerships between corporates and game studios will continue to become more common. Whoever owns the attention of the consumer will always attract the marketing dollars and partnerships of companies looking to sell their product or service to that audience. The brilliant thing for companies like Nike is that their margin on this digital item far surpasses any tangible product that has to be produced, stored, and shipped to a consumer.

2) Riot Games creates governing body for collegiate esports

Governing bodies are a healthy component of any competitive league. In every major sports league, you have governing bodies (NHLPA, NFLPA, NBPA, MLBPA) that represent the players. In similar fashion, Riot Games (who own League of Legends with over 100M monthly active players) is now taking it into their own hands to create a governing body for collegiate esports athletes of LoL.

This comes following a refusal from the NCAA Board of Governors (BOG) to create an overseeing collegiate body for esports. This is one of those debates that the community seems very split on (similar to the Olympics): does esports need to be an official NCAA sport to succeed? With over 140 colleges offering esports programs, and some even offering scholarships, I lean towards the argument that the gaming ecosystem can figure it out and create its own governance (just as Riot is doing for LoL).