SportsBusiness Journal and The Esports Observer Announce Strategic Partnership

CHARLOTTE, N.C. & BERLIN--()--Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal and The Esports Observer announced today a strategic partnership that includes a significant investment by SportsBusiness Journal in The Esports Observer, the leading source for esports business news and insights.

The partnership links SportsBusiness Journal, the premier source of sports business news, with The Esports Observer, which offers business and market intelligence, publishes the leading digital esports business news platform, and hosts industry events and conferences. The Esports Observer was launched as part of the BITKRAFT Esports Ventures network in 2015.

The esports economy is currently experiencing a global coming of age. Industry experts expect it to grow at a 30% compound rate through 2020, pushing the total market to $1.5 billion in annual revenue.1

As more advertisers, sponsors and elite investors flock to the rapidly-evolving esports industry, The Esports Observer is developing the central information hub with the mission of helping decision-makers better understand the esports industry.

Whitney Shaw, CEO of American City Business Journals, the parent company of SportsBusiness Journal, said, “It’s clear to all of us at SportsBusiness Journal and to our readers who work and invest in traditional sports that esports is an exciting and significant development. This partnership allows SBJ to extend its authority and credibility into esports.”

“The Esports Observer is the cream of the crop in the sector, and it is a natural partner for us,” added Andrew Siegel, President of ACBJ’s Growth Strategies Group.

“We are happy that through our collaboration with SportsBusiness Journal we found a partner who shares our long-term vision for business intelligence in the esports industry. This partnership will strengthen our ability to provide coverage in the US and organize conferences in tandem with SBJ and its sister company in London, Leaders. Together, we can provide critical industry research, including real-time esports intelligence, ultimately increasing transparency and fostering growth,” commented Christopher Hana, CEO of The Esports Observer.

“We are incredibly proud to have one of our early portfolio companies enter into a strategic partnership with SBJ. SBJ’s coverage, which shaped traditional sports over the last decade, complements the vision and strategy of The Esports Observer,” said BITKRAFT Esports Ventures Founding Partner, Jens Hilgers. “BITKRAFT’s investment thesis was to help create more transparency in the esports industry and enable industry professionals and companies entering esports to make better informed business decisions. With Chris Hana at the helm, this partnerships enables The Esports Observer to continue fulfilling this mission.”

The strategic partnership encompasses an investment by ACBJ into The Esports Observer, as well as editorial, commercial and events collaboration. ACBJ has the right to make additional future investments into The Esports Observer.

About American City Business Journals

For more than three decades, ACBJ has been the nation's largest publisher of local business news and information, deploying more than 600 journalists across 43 major U.S. cities. ACBJ owns 40 business publications online and in print across the country that offer exclusive, in-depth business coverage. In addition, ACBJ owns and operates SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily, SportsBusiness Daily Global, Leaders, Inside Lacrosse, Hemmings Motor News, American Inno, Bizwomen and the Street & Smith's sports yearbooks. ACBJ is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. and is a division of Advance Publications, Inc., the parent company to Condé Nast Publications, local daily newspapers and online sites, and with significant interests in Discovery Communications, Charter Communications and Reddit.

About The Esports Observer

The Esports Observer, short TEO (part of ESPORTS BUSINESS SOLUTIONS UG) is the world’s leading source for esports business news and insights. TEO offers an integrated platform that enables companies to make the right decisions when venturing into the esports industry by offering real-time intelligence and reports, in addition to planning and hosting industry events and conferences, with the ultimate goal of increasing transparency and fostering growth in esports.

About BITKRAFT Esports Ventures

BITKRAFT is an early stage investor and company builder focused entirely on the esports sector. We found, support, and scale esports startups along with the industry’s most influential companies. Founded in 2015, we are active in both Berlin and Los Angeles, the epicenters of the western esports world.

BITKRAFT is home to a diverse range of entrepreneurs, operators, and investors who are building businesses, creating and expanding opportunities, and developing new technologies that benefit esports players, fans, and stakeholders around the globe.


Kalie Moore, +49 174 184 0124
Head of Communications

Release Summary

SportsBusiness Journal and The Esports Observer announce partnership that encompasses investment, editorial, commercial and events collaboration.


Kalie Moore, +49 174 184 0124
Head of Communications