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K-State Today

April 10, 2018

Esports expert panel featured in Sports Marketing Speaker Series

By Brent Fritzemeier

The Sports Marketing Speaker Series will welcome a five-member expert panel to discuss the emergence of esports beginning at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 12, in the K-State College of Business Building Lecture Hall.

Esports has grown into a $655 million a year business with 335 million viewers and is expected to top $1 billion in annual revenue by 2019. Several dozen professional franchises — or their owners — in the NBA, NFL and NHL own professional esports teams. The NBA is launching the 2K Esports League with 17 of its franchises supporting teams of professional gamers. More than 70 colleges and universities have varsity-level esports teams, complete with scholarships, coaches, and training facilities.

Collegiate esports will be the primary focus of the expert panel that includes Matt Thompson, president of Kansas Wesleyan University and member of the board of directors for the National Association of Collegiate Esports; Kevin McCarty, director of digital media for K-State Athletics; Layne Shirley, esports manager for the National Association of Collegiate Esports; and Cody Baldwin and Sam Smith, former and current presidents of K-State Esports, respectively.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the event and are invited to participate in a news conference with the panelists following the event at 1 p.m. in 2047 College of Business Building. Please contact Stephen Brunson at sjbrunso@k-state.edu with any questions.

Preceding the Speaker Series expert panel, K-State Esports will conduct an esports demonstration in the atrium of the Business Building from 9-11 a.m. Visitors can see what competitive esports is all about, as well as have the opportunity to play some of the games. Make sure to look for the Snapchat geo-filter that will be available while in the Business Building.

The Sports Marketing Speaker Series is organized by marketing professor Doug Walker as part of the curriculum for his MKTG630: Sports Marketing class. The students and Walker welcome members of the public to attend the events. The events are free and no ticket is required. Seating is first come, first served.

The schedule for the speaker series for the spring semester can be found at cba.k-state.edu/departments-initiatives/marketing/sports-marketing/index.html

Additional information on the speaker series and other activities pertaining to the Sports Marketing class, from the perspective of the students in the class, can be accessed through the FacebookTwitter and Instagram account created and maintained by the students.

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