LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The World Poker Tour® today announced a five-year strategic alliance with TV Azteca, a company of Grupo Salinas, a group of multi-faceted, fast-growing, global companies, that will bring WPT®’s poker content library to a growing Latin America audience. In addition, the WPT’s sister company, Allied Esports, and Grupo Salinas have entered into an agreement to work toward developing and launching an esports strategy in Mexico.
Pursuant to the strategic alliance, TV Azteca’s multimedia network will aggressively promote the WPT®, and in partnership with Grupo Salinas’ companies, the World Poker Tour will introduce its premier poker events throughout Mexico. Further, WPT will license its internationally recognized brand to TV Azteca to develop social poker and gaming products customized exclusively for the Latin America marketplace. As the World Poker Tour’s global presence grows, Grupo Salinas will feature WPT-branded merchandise throughout its stores, placed all over Mexico and throughout Latin America.
TV Azteca will also introduce a Spanish-language WPT-branded social poker game, the first such offering created exclusively for the Spanish-speaking community. This offering will be expanded to include poker, casino games, education, and will be signed to become a social gaming hub for the region. Moreover, TV Azteca plans to incorporate WPT’s assets in the region to create a rewards program unlike any other in social poker today. The brand offering is expected to be announced soon and will be fully customized in terms of language, style, and payment system for the Mexican and larger Latin American community.
Bolstering this new offering will be the power of TV Azteca’s broadcast position in Mexico. TV Azteca has pledged to localize all WPT programs with well-known world-class commentators who will be announced at a later date. Incorporating a local celebrity roster from TV Azteca is expected to ensure WPT’s 17 seasons of televised content has new life and greatest impact to the tens of millions of viewers in the free-to-air market of coverage. The two groups will also collaborate to produce original Spanish-language programs at TV Azteca’s state-of-the-art studios located in Mexico City. TV Azteca is the number-one sports network in Mexico and controls more than 40 local broadcast and regional free-to-air stations, as well as providing cable packages including Netflix and HBO for the region. TV Azteca’s free-to-air stations reach over 95 percent of the Mexican market and have the potential to make WPT appointment programming.
Beyond plans for multi-channel television distribution, the WPT will partner with TV Azteca to put on up to two WPT Main Tour events, and eight WPTDeepStacks and WPT500 events each season. These world-class poker tournaments will take place as part of the newly developed WPT LATAM Tour, with the first event expected to take place within the first twelve months of the alliance.
Grupo Salinas was formed in 2001 by Ricardo Salinas and operates as a holding company to the following enterprises: TV Azteca, Grupo Elektra, Advance America, Banco Azteca, Seguros Azteca, Afore Azteca, Italika, Punto Casa de Bolsa, TV Azteca Digital, Totalplay, Totalplay Empresarial and Totalsec.
Grupo Salinas’ companies operate in Mexico, USA, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and Panama.
“This extraordinary deal with TV Azteca represents a historic advancement for the World Poker Tour into Latin America as WPT continues its global growth,” Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour, said. “Aligning with Grupo Salinas and having their full commitment behind this project enables us to leverage its extensive network of television distribution outlets, land-based casinos, social media platforms, and merchandising venues, to engage with the Latin America poker and social games market.”
Esports Agreement: The next phase
With more than 2.2 billion gamers globally, and viewership and revenue growing at double digits rates, esports represents a huge opportunity. Recognizing this, Allied Esports and Grupo Salinas are working toward an agreement to deliver live esports experiences, esports related content, and an online platform to the markets in Mexico and throughout Latin America.
As announced in December 2018, the World Poker Tour and Allied Esports International, both currently owned by Ourgame International Holdings Limited, are expected to be acquired, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other conditions to closing, by Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: BRAC), to form Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc. (AESE).
“We believe this alliance with Grupo Salinas further demonstrates the cohesive integration that can take place between WPT and Allied Esports. We expect Grupo Salinas and TV Azteca to be exceptional partners for WPT and Allied Esports in the Latin America market,” Ken DeCubellis, CEO of BRAC and future CFO of AESE, said.
“Grupo Salinas and TV Azteca graciously welcome the World Poker Tour and Allied Esports as part of our wealth of offerings across Latin America and Mexico,” TV Azteca CEO Benjamin Salinas, said. “We are fully committed to using our vast network to completely change the social gaming market in Mexico and to ensure that these games are available to all people in ways that are catered to them. By pairing with the WPT in this long-term relationship, we are taking a major step into social gaming and the global growth of poker as we fulfill our mission of being fully dedicated to best-in-class products, services, and entertainment to the market.”
For more information regarding the World Poker Tour, head to WPT.com.
About World Poker Tour
World Poker Tour (WPT) is the premier name in internationally televised gaming and entertainment with brand presence in land-based tournaments, television, online, and mobile. Leading innovation in the sport of poker since 2002, WPT ignited the global poker boom with the creation of a unique television show based on a series of high-stakes poker tournaments. WPT has broadcast globally in more than 150 countries and territories, and is currently producing its 17th season, which airs on FOX Sports Regional Networks in the United States. Season XVII of WPT is sponsored by ClubWPT.com.
ClubWPT.com is a unique online membership site that offers inside access to the WPT, as well as a sweepstakes-based poker club available in 35 states across the United States with innovative features and state-of-the-art creative elements inspired by WPT’s 16 years of experience in gaming entertainment. WPT also participates in strategic brand license, partnership, and sponsorship opportunities. WPT Enterprises Inc. is a subsidiary of Ourgame International Holdings, Ltd. For more information, go to WPT.com.
About Allied Esports International, Inc.
Named to Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies list for 2019, Allied Esports is a premier esports entertainment company with a global network of dedicated esports properties and content production facilities. Its mission is to connect players, streamers and fans via integrated arenas and mobile esports trucks around the world that serve as both gaming battlegrounds and every day content generation hubs. Allied Esports is a subsidiary of Ourgame International (SEHK:899), owner of WPT Enterprises, Inc., the operator of The World Poker Tour®. Ourgame has entered into an agreement with Black Ridge Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: BRAC) to combine, and once all applicable shareholder and regulatory consents have been obtained, and the other conditions to closing have been satisfied, Allied Esports and the World Poker Tour to form Allied Esports Entertainment, Inc.
Through direct operation and affiliate relationships via the Allied Esports Property Network, the first esports venue affiliate program available to partners looking to open new esports facilities around the world, Allied Esports locations currently include 11 properties in the top three esports markets across the globe: North America’s HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, HyperX Esports Truck “Big Meta,” Esports Arena Orange County and Esports Arena Oakland; Europe’s HyperX Esports Truck “Big Betty” and HyperX Studio in Hamburg, Germany; and China’s Lianmeng Dianjing in Beijing, Lianmeng Dianjing SEG Arena in Shenzhen, Lianmeng Dianjing Tianjin Arena, Lianmeng Dianjing Gui’an Arena and Lianmeng Dianjing LGD Gaming Hangzhou Arena. The Allied Esports Property Network’s 12th property, run by Fortress Esports, is expected to open in Melbourne, Australia in 2019. For more information about Allied Esports visit AlliedEsports.gg and follow @AlliedEsports.
About Grupo Salinas
Grupo Salinas (www.gruposalinas.com) is a group of dynamic, fast growing, and technologically advanced companies focused on creating economic value through market innovation and goods and services that improve standards of living; social value, to create social capabilities to improve communities; and environmental value, by reducing the negative impact of business activities. Created by Mexican entrepreneur Ricardo B. Salinas (www.ricardosalinas.com), Grupo Salinas operates as a management development and decision forum for the top leaders of member companies. These companies include: TV Azteca (www.TVazteca.com; www.irtvazteca.com), Grupo Elektra (www.grupoelektra.com.mx), Banco Azteca (www.bancoazteca.com.mx), Advance America (www.advanceamerica.net), Afore Azteca (www.aforeazteca.com.mx), Seguros Azteca (www.segurosazteca.com.mx), Punto Casa de Bolsa (www.puntocasadebolsa.mx), Totalplay (www.totalplay.com.mx) and Totalplay Empresarial (totalplayempresarial.com.mx). TV Azteca and Grupo Elektra trade on the Mexican Stock Exchange and are part of its Sustainability Index. Each of the Grupo Salinas companies operates independently, with its own management, board of directors and shareholders. Grupo Salinas has no equity holdings. The group of companies share a common vision, values and strategies for achieving rapid growth, superior results and world-class performance.
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