Welcome to the Philly esports boom.
Last week, the 76ers Gaming Club and Saint Joseph’s University unveiled an esports partnership to develop a more robust esports culture and series of programs in the area. Per the news release, it certainly sounds like the 76ers and SJU are committed to a multi-faceted approach to fostering a culture of esports in the area.
“This new interactive partnership between 76ers Gaming Club and Saint Joseph’s University is a natural fit; we are each committed to empowering students in our city, state and surrounding area by fueling their esports passion and developing the next generation of esports players, influencers and executives.
The exclusive 76ers GC content, programming and access generated through the partnership will provide a unique opportunity for students who want an inside look at the craft and business of esports. This partnership continues to reinforce Philadelphia’s prominent position in the esports ecosystem.”Kathryn Alario, Vice President, Marketing, Philadelphia 76ers, PR Newswire
Jill Bodensteiner, SJU’s Director of Athletics, said in an interview with NBC that their goal is to launch “recession-resistant careers” through this new program, and mentioned that their first full academic is already underway and going extremely well.
Between the new construction for Fusion Arena (future home of the Overwatch League’s Philadelphia Fusion), and this new partnership, Philly is quickly becoming one of the esports capitols of the United States. It was only a matter of time before a major American city stepped up to assume this role – and although I’m a Boston fan – it’s pretty awesome to see the city of Philadelphia doing just that.
Here’s hoping other major cities continue to get progressively more serious (and competitive) about developments and partnerships like this.