Why would the 2017 NBA champions be spending millions of dollars to start a League of Legends team? To learn more about streaming, of course.
According to Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Kirk Lacob, the team’s acceptance into the North America League of Legends Championship Series through its new Golden Guardians team, signals an effort to not only access a younger, global fan base, but also to learn more about the way esports are consumed.
“It’s a totally globally-connected ecosystem,” said Lacob, the son of Warriors CEO Joe Lacob, in a recent interview with SportTechie. “When you look at esports as a whole, it’s incredibly young, yet massively huge. We need to capture some of that same magic on the basketball level going forward, but we also thought we could learn from it as world shifts the way it consumes.”
While the NBA is among the most innovative major sports leagues, it is tackling many of the same problems as other leagues, including a demographic of younger fans that are demanding streaming options as they cut the cable cord.