SBI Holdings, Inc announced this Friday that it has decided to enter into the increasingly popular esports gaming space with the establishment of a new company – SBI e-Sports Co., Ltd.
Electronic sports, or esports, refers to computer and video game-based matches that are played as a competitive sport. The term, and the field itself, has been growing in popularity in recent years.
The new company will field professional esports teams as well as manage esports media and provide services such as consulting for the industry. Furthermore, SBI will be exploring collaborations with partner companies and other groups in both Japan and overseas to promote global initiatives in anticipation that the space will continue to grow.
With its latest venture, the Japanese company will, through creating and attracting esports events, try and provide a boost to regional economies by working with local governments and financial institutions.
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“It is estimated that at the end of 2019, worldwide esports viewership had reached 450 million, and moves to integrate esports with the Olympics have been ongoing,” SBI Holdings said in its statement today. “Around 75% of esports audiences are reportedly aged under 35, with recognition rising particularly among digitally-minded generations.”
SBI Holdings is the parent company of SBI Securities, a large online Japanese securities firm based in Japan. In fact, SBI Holdings is the parent company to a number of subsidiaries within the financial space.
SBI Holdings expects to boost brand awareness
Whilst the Japanese company aims to provide a boost to the esports gaming sector, the firm also expects that the establishment of its new company will also provide the overall Group with increased brand awareness.
“In Japan, hopes have been placed in esports as a regional development measure. esports were adopted as part of the cultural programs for the 2019 National Sports Festival in Ibaraki and the 2020 National Sports Festival in Kagoshima *3, and a number of esports tournaments and events solicited and organized by local governments and regional financial institutions have been held,” the company added in its statement.