It has been announced that the first Australian Rules Football Club has entered the esports world with a wholesale purchase.
Adelaide Crows were formed in 1990 and have featured in 12 series finals throughout their 25 year history. Based in the Southern Australian city of Adelaide, they’re known for their blue, red and gold jersey.
It was revealed a couple of weeks prior to the announcement that a number of AFL teams were interested in getting involved with esports, following in the footsteps of traditional sports clubs worldwide that include the Miami Heat, Manchester City, Wolfsburg and the Philadelphia Sixers.
Rather than start their own team, the Adelaide Crows have simply purchased the Australian brand known as Legacy eSports. Well known for fielding a team in Riot’s Oceanic Pro League for LoL, they placed second behind Dire Wolves in April 2017’s Split.
The Legacy eSports brand will remain, with Adeliade Crows supporting them through their current processes. Chief Executive Andrew Fagan explained the acquisition via the Crows website.
“It is hugely popular with millennials and there are enhanced opportunities for current and new corporate partners to engage with younger, digital and social media savvy audiences. In many ways, eSports represents the intersection of technology, media and entertainment, which are all a key part of our strategic focus.
“Across the globe there are sporting clubs, billionaire investors and athletes becoming involved in eSports with a view to growing their brand and reach, driving commercial outcomes and engaging with new fans. League of Legends eSports was the most obvious choice for our Club to get involved in, as it is one of the most developed eSports leagues in the region.
“We will bring our expertise in elite and professional sport to support the high-performance development of the Legacy players who are driven to achieve success in their field. We will also devote resources to support the growth of the Legacy brand and their ability to engage effectively with their passionate fan base.
“Our traditional revenue streams are obviously strong, as evidenced through our record attendances, membership, corporate hospitality, sponsorship and merchandise return. While we will forever remain focused on our core objectives of winning football matches, we need to continue to diversify our activities and programs.
“Our investment in Legacy is obviously very different and new in this country but will become a very important part of our Club.”
The move has been sanctioned by Riot, with Head of eSports Daniel Ringland commenting on the move.
“Not only are the Adelaide Crows the first ‘traditional’ sporting club to expand into the Oceanic Pro League but they are a club built on both excellence in performance and dedication to their fans, which is why Legacy is the perfect partner for them going forward.”
The Legacy team are currently bootcamping in South Korea. You can find out more information via the Crows website.