SportsBusiness Journal, a sports business news publication owned by American City Business Journals, has announced a “significant” investment and editorial partnership with The Esports Observer.
The companies are not disclosing the investment amount.
The partnership “will strengthen our ability to provide coverage in the U.S. and organize conferences in tandem with SBJ and its sister company in London, Leaders,” stated Christopher Hana, CEO of The Esports Observer. Leaders is the sports business conference company ACBJ acquired in April.
A spokesperson for Esports Observer’s parent company BITKRAFT added the funding will enable the pub to publish industry reports and further develop its self-service SaaS intelligence solution.
The Esports Observer covers the business news of esports, or video gaming, and hosts industry events and conferences. It launched in 2015, as part of BITKRAFT Esports Ventures network, an esports-focused early stage investor and company builder based in Berlin and Los Angeles, which founds, supports and scales esports startups.
The esports economy, per the company, is expected to grow at a 30% compound rate through 2020, pushing the total market to $1.5 billion in annual revenue.
The partnership includes editorial and commercial collaboration between the two publications.
Forbes reported Hana believes the investment's timing is telling, especially since the New York Yankees are now involved in esports through an investment with Vision Esports, the largest shareholder of esports franchise Echo Fox, founded by NBA champion Rick Fox.
ACBJ, a publisher of local business news brands, owns 40 publications online and in print across the country.