Three NFL teams are reportedly looking into recruiting top Madden NFL players to represent their franchises in tournaments according to Bloomberg. EA has recently revamped its pro tournaments and is adding four new events also expanding to television and digital broadcasts offering up to $1 million in prize money. E-Sports is a $500 million dollar industry with 75 percent of players within the ages of 18 to 34.
EA Sports has met with the NFL about sponsoring gamers, says Peter Moore who is the head of the competitive-gaming division. Peter went on to say “I don’t know why teams wouldn’t pursue this, it feels like a very small expense for what seems to get a large amount of publicity”. Professional teams signing pro gamers is not a new notion, Manchester City and West Ham United, two of the top English Premier League soccer teams have each signed professional FIFA players to represent their clubs while playing FIFA wearing jersey’s representing the club they are signed to at events.
E-Sports brings in huge amounts of viewers, as in the case of EVO this weekend where some of the events had excess of over 200,000 viewers watching. Whether or not the NFL cashes in on this opportunity is yet to be seen, but if looking at the numbers and the exposure is anything, we may not have to wait long before we do.