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15 TO WATCH/5 SPORTS TECH/POWER OF SPORTS 5: RICK HORROW’S TOP SPORTS/BUSINESS/TECH/ PHILANTHROPY ISSUES FOR THE WEEK OF OCT. 16

15 TO WATCH/5 SPORTS TECH/POWER OF SPORTS 5: RICK HORROW’S TOP SPORTS/BUSINESS/TECH/ PHILANTHROPY ISSUES FOR THE WEEK OF OCT. 16

with Jamie Swimmer, Ron Socash & Tanner Simkins

 

  1. In the wake of NFL player actions, player protests will be something to watch this NBA season. The 2018 regular season tips off this Tuesday, with a marquee double bill featuring the Cavaliers vs. the Celtics and the Warriors vs. the Rockets. According to NBC Sports Bay Area, Warriors star Stephen Curry was among the first athletes to openly speak out against President Trump, and he is now “walking a sociopolitical path.” The face of Under Armour and Infiniti, Curry is aware of the balance he needs to strike between voicing his personal opinion on controversial issues and representing his sponsors. For the global icon, “principles are at stake and he has more than a few,” which people point to as the reason he is so willing to alienate a segment of the market. “I’m well aware that, in this world, there’s no way you can please everybody and there’s no reason that you should want to,” said Curry. “I’m very comfortable understanding that, and not letting that affect my view or stance.” The NBA already has a National Anthem policy in place, so while it’s unlikely we’ll see any NBA players kneeling courtside during the anthem, expect player statements to be made via many other platforms.
     
  2. The NFL may also soon issue a rule requiring all players to stand for the National Anthem. According to the Wall Street Journal, this development comes in the wake of President Donald Trump condemning players who have protested the anthem before games this season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently sent out a memo stating that he believes “all players should stand for the anthem,” and that the league will “suggest other ways it could support social-justice issues that players want to champion.” In response, many NFL players have said that they would boycott if they were not allowed to protest. The current NFL game operations manual says “players ‘should’ stand” during the playing of the anthem, though it could soon change to “players ‘must’ stand.” While player protests during the National Anthem will be a "major topic of conversation" at Tuesday's NFL owners meetings, no "sweeping game-day changes are expected," according to sources. But in a sign of how pervasive the movement has become, the act of players taking a knee has now “crossed the Atlantic,” as Bundesliga team Hertha Berlin’s players and coaches knelt before their game on Saturday in a call for “tolerance and responsibility.”

 

  1. With the new NBA season tipping off this week, more teams have announced their decision not to stay at Trump hotels this year. According to the Washington Post, 11 of the 12 teams that have stayed at Trump SoHo since it opened in 2010 have since made new arrangements when they play in New York. This summer, the Raptors, Rockets, Kings, and Wizards all decided to stop giving the Trump hotel their business. Additionally, another NBA team “quit staying” at Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, “and at least three NHL teams and one MLB club have stopped frequenting Trump hotels in the same time.” Some teams cited travel logistics, not politics, as their motivation for deciding to go elsewhere, though others were not shy of voicing their political dissent. “He continually offends people, and so people don’t want to stay at his hotel,” said Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr. “It’s pretty simple.” Luxury properties abound in NBA cities, so it’s a fairly easy decision for team travel coordinators to look elsewhere and avoid the issue altogether.
     
  2. As college football nears the midpoint of its 2017 season and basketball beckons, IMG College and Learfield have announced their “definitive agreement” to merge. The leading collegiate marketing companies will create a combined entity that will be owned by IMG and Atairos, the investment firm that bought Learfield for more than $1.2 billion in 2016, and will be led by Learfield CEO Greg Brown. The new entity will be headquartered in Plano, Texas. While terms of the deal have not been disclosed, analysts have estimated that the deal could be worth more than $2.5 billion. In a joint statement, IMG and Learfield cited numerous merger benefits, including "enhanced services, more consistent promotions, technological innovation, and greater economic opportunities" for the company’s university and brand clients. Learfield oversees athletic multimedia and sponsorship rights for over 130 U.S. colleges and universities, and has acquired complementary services, including stadium concessions and hospitality services, ticket sales, and online streaming capabilities. Meanwhile IMG College represents nearly 90 universities and conferences, as well as trademark licensing and consumer rights products for over 200 schools, conferences, and bowl games. The two companies’ combined portfolio includes more than 70% of DI schools, and over 80% of Power Five conference members.

 

  1. After a shocking loss against Trinidad & Tobago, the United States Men’s National Team has failed to quality for the 2018 World Cup. According to the New York Times, this marks the first time the USMNT has failed to qualify after a string of seven straight appearances in the tournament. U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati declined to comment whether or not “wholesale changes” would be made in the wake of the loss, though head coach Bruce Arena resigned mere days after the defeat. “You don’t make wholesale changes based on the ball being two inches wide or two inches in. We’ll look at everything,” said Gulati. “But we’ve got a lot of pieces in place that we think are very good and have been coming along.” The U.S. only needed to tie the game to book its ticket to Russia, but it could not even manage that.

 

  1. With the USMNT failing to reach the World Cup, Fox Sports’ revenue and ratings are expected to take a severe hit next summer. According to Broadcasting & Cable, Fox is paying between $450-500 million for the rights to broadcast the next three World Cups in the U.S., but this summer’s tournament in Russia is likely to draw poor ratings without the U.S. competing in it. The network was expecting large viewership across the country, and it has already built a two-story broadcasting complex at Moscow’s Red Square with multiple sets, a main anchor desk, and an interview room. Fox is planning on broadcasting 350 hours of World Cup programming during the tournament, though viewership for that content is now expected to fall way below original expectations when the USMNT was assumed to qualify. At stake are millions of dollars in potential lost revenue not only for Fox Sports (which may be out upwards of $20 million according to some reports), but for USMNT business partners, sports travel packagers, merchandisers, and the like.

 

  1. Dallas Cowboys outspoken owner Jerry Jones’ recent comments to players about potentially benching them for disrespecting the American flag stemmed from him wanting to “play the bad guy.” According to ESPN.com, Jones attempted to divert the attention and media coverage from his players onto himself in order to protect them. Many Cowboys players were initially frustrated regarding Jones’ comments, as they thought Jones “had turned against them.” Instead, he reportedly wanted to “ensure that players saw the bigger picture regarding the business side of the situation, including concerns over TV rating and sponsors.” Cowboys Kicker Dan Bailey confirmed that there have been numerous calls between players and the NFLPA regarding the situation. Ever a proactive leader, Jones has since addressed the team multiple times to clear up any confusion and give players the chance to openly air their concerns.

 

  1. With MLB playoffs in full swing, New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is using a postseason push to grow his endorsement portfolio. According to Forbes, Gregorius’ strong, infectious personality, coupled with his on-field performance, has helped him land new deals with Wix.com, Delta, Banana Republic, Stance, and Planters. He already had sponsorship deals in place with Nike, Mizuno, and Louisville Slugger, but those paled in comparison to what he has now. His newly estimated off-field income is expected to be “north of $500,000.” Gregorius is a catch for potential endorsers; he “speaks four languages and has a growing social media presence in which he celebrates Yankees wins on Twitter with emojis representing different Yankees stars.” Sponsors have also leveraged the geographic advantage that he plays in New York, and accordingly Gregorius has made multiple live appearances around the city on behalf of his endorsers.

 

  1. With the Dodgers and Astros now leading their conference series 2-0 respectively against the Cubs and the Yankees, MLB broadcast partners are salivating at the idea that regardless of the NLCS and ALCS outcomes, teams hailing from the U.S.’ four biggest media markets – and all with compelling storylines – will contest the 2018 World Series. In the ALCS, we’re watching the Yankees, a team with one of the biggest fan bases and brand recognition in the world, battle the resurgent Houston Astros, a team playing not only for their place in modern baseball history but representing a community still reeling from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. And in Los Angeles, the NLCS is pitting the world champion Chicago Cubs against the ever-popular Dodgers, who last won the Series 29 years ago. Through the end of the regular season, the Dodgers “sold more than 3.7 million tickets," according to the Los Angeles Times. That means the club has "led the majors in attendance in each of the five full years under Guggenheim Baseball ownership, selling between 3.7 million and 3.8 million tickets each year.” The Dodgers have also made the playoffs all five seasons under Guggenheim's ownership, a significant milestone.

 

  1. Rate of play has been a big cause of concern for MLB over the past few seasons, and this year’s playoffs have only reiterated that issue. According to the Washington Post, the Chicago Cubs’ 9-8 win over the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS lasted over four and a half hours, making it the “longest nine-inning game in playoff history.” The increase in game time can be attributed to a few major reasons, primarily longer commercial times in the playoffs coupled with replay review, more pitching changes and mound visits, and the tendency for “max-effort pitches to take longer and longer between pitches.” MLB has been trying to address rate of play throughout the regular season, but come playoff time, the play tends to be more meticulous and slow down. Thus far, the average time of playoff games has been three hours and thirty-six minutes. While MLB is focused on this issue, more needs to be done – especially if the league hopes to continue to attract its next generation of fans, not exactly known for their long attention spans.

 

  1. New Houston Rockets Owner Tilman Fertitta has made it clear that he wants his team to be a contender. Fertitta spoke to the Houston Chronicle about his goal of making the Rockets more like the Lakers and Celtics, two teams that “win championships every decade.” The new point man in Houston paid more for the team than “anyone ever had for a North American sports franchise.” Fertitta will not take over basketball decision-making upon his Toyota Center arrival, but he will be heavily involved in free-agent recruiting. Instead of working out of his arena corner office, he will work out of his headquarters at The Post Oak in downtown Houston. “I don’t want to win three in a row and not win any for the next 20, 25 years,” said Fertitta. “I want to be a competitive team every year. We’re going to make good decisions, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to win.” Attitude is great, but cementing a crack front office staff will contribute to more championships.
     
  2. The Australian Open is looking to increase the economic impact of the annual Grand Slam event to produce $389.5 million per year within the next five years. According to the Herald Sun, a 15-day music festival will accompany the action on the court, headlined by a fundraiser for motor neuron disease research the day before the 2018 tournament starts. This coming year, a record $3.1 million will be awarded to singles winners – part of a world-best $42.8 million tournament prize pool. The 2017 Australian Open brought in around $217 million in positive economic impact, up from 2014’s marker of $192 million. Tournament Director Craig Tiley noted that he hopes to break this $389.5 million threshold (A$500 million) within five years “as the tournament expands in size, crowd figures and international appeal. “We’ve in essence become a music festival at the same time, and then of course there is food,” said Tiley. Whether tennis, golf, soccer, or basketball, engaging fans on many levels is critical to modern-day sports event financial success.

 

  1. With college basketball practices officially underway across the country, the universities of Kansas and Missouri are making plans to scrimmage each other in a renewed “Border War.” According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, the two schools have not played against each other in basketball since 2012 – Missouri’s last year in the Big 12 before switching to the SEC – despite sharing a state border. The scrimmage will be played at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, with the “funds from ticket sales going to hurricane relief.” In accordance with NCAA rules, Division I teams are allowed to play two exhibition games per season against non-Division I opponents, so if the game is to take place, the universities “would need the permission of the NCAA – be it in the form of a waiver or something similar.” Missouri hosted an exhibition game in 2011 to raise money for relief efforts following the Joplin tornados, and while the proposed Sprint Center event won’t have as immediate a beneficiary, it should be able to raise tens of thousands of dollars in relief funds.

 

  1. Las Vegas might soon land another professional sports franchise. According to the AP, the WNBA Stars “are in negotiations to be sold and relocated,” with a move from San Antonio to Las Vegas likely happening. Las Vegas is currently home to the Golden Knights – the recent NHL expansion team – and will soon welcome the NFL’s Raiders when they move from Oakland. Despite having a talented core of players in San Antonio, the Stars finished last place in the WNBA this past season. The team originally moved to Texas from Utah back in 2003, so this would be the franchise’s second change of location in its existence. One of the biggest questions regarding the relocation is where the team will play; possible venues include T-Mobile Arena, the MGM Grand Garden, the Thomas & Mack Center, and Orleans Arena. The Stars are currently owned and operated by Spurs Sports & Entertainment. If current enthusiasm for the Golden Knights is any indication, Las Vegas is shaping up to be quite the sports town, even outside the confines of its ever-popular sports books.

 

  1. UCF’s football stadium is in dire need of a patch up. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a recent engineering report indicated that the university’s football stadium needs extensive repairs that could total up to $14 million. Spectrum Stadium was found to have rust and corrosion around it, with some “immediate life safety concerns” due to the structural integrity of the venue. Long term plans are currently being weighed by the university, though it did note that the worst problems have already been fixed. The 45,000-seat venue on the main campus was found to have corrosion that affects more than 80,000 square feet across the stadium. The engineering report further indicated that the facility “has become so rusted that an overhaul could cost about a quarter of the stadium’s $54 million price tag.” The extent of the repair job will depend on how much the school spends on it and “whether the stadium life extends another 10 years of 20 years.” All too frequently, when schools and communities budget for sports facilities construction projects, they underestimate the funds needed for adequate maintenance over time. This is only the most recent example of that oversight.

 

 

Top Five Tech
 

  1. Football is doing all it can to combat public concern over CTE. According to the Chicago Tribune, football equipment company Riddell is making custom helmets to best fit players from all age groups. The helmets will look to improve both player vision and head protection with new “precision-fit” technology. The new and improved helmets could lead to an increase in perceived public perception of how safe football can actually become. Rutgers equipment manager Stephen Hale remarked, “You eliminate that lag, so to speak, when a player moves his head. You don’t have the helmet playing catch up, which is what they believe to be a large contributing factor to concussions right now. It’s pretty ground-breaking stuff.” If these new helmets are successful in helping protect players in a better way, we could see an increase in the number of youth football players. If the number of players increases after a decrease in the last few years, the future of football could be saved. Riddell is playing a big part in youth, high school, college, and even NFL football.

 

  1. LA Clippers fans have a new way of making sure that the ticket they are buying is exactly what they want. Using a piece of technology called FanSight by AXS, fans can now see a 360 degree view of what their seat will look like in the arena. Gillian Zucker, President of Business Operations for the Clippers, told Business Insider, “The Clippers are focused on enhancing our fan experience and purchasing a ticket is one of the first touchpoints a fan may have with our brand. AXS will provide fans with the most accurate view from a seat for a Clippers game, with a promise to bring to life an NBA game the way no other team — or ticket platform — in the league does.” If the technology is successful, we will likely see a change in the way consumers buy their tickets online. If ticket distributors such as StubHub and Ticketmaster are able to adopt the same type of technology, consumers will have a much more personalized experience buying their tickets.
     
  2. NBA League Pass can now be viewed in a new and exciting way. Through NextVR, fans and consumers alike can watch every NBA game through Virtual Reality headsets that put you directly in the arena. NextVR CEO David Cole had this to say about the VR advancement: “Following a groundbreaking first season of NBA games in VR, we will introduce new product features, including real-time graphics floating like holograms within the field-of-play, deliver sharper images, and introduce more VR devices to fans. We are continuing to advance the realism and fidelity of our NBA broadcasts and these new features will deliver the most immersive live basketball experience to date.” With the advent of VR, fans see the game as if they are placed directly in the stadium. While the headsets and computers to run the applications are expensive, hardcore sport and tech fans have seemed willing to pay the price. With so many NBA games available to watch, it makes sense for many fans to make the investment and experience a whole new sports viewing environment.

 

  1. Analytics continue to play a bigger role in not only sports decision-making, but also the fan experience. Sportradar, a technology company that specializes in both player tracking and data collection, has just acquired Mocap Analytics. Mocap is another analytics-based firm out of Palo Alto, California that has made a lot of headway in player tracking. Sportradar Director of Communications Alex Inglot said this in a statement: “Mocap’s pedigree with the Golden State Warriors and in the performance analysis domain is really what underpins the credibility of what they’re bringing to us. When you’re good enough for the Golden State Warriors’ analytics team, you’re good enough to provide fans what they’re looking for, that eureka insight that cuts through all the noise and cuts through all the speculation and gets you to the root of why what happened just happened.” With this new collaboration, we see that investments in technology are smart investments. The more data and technology available to both teams and fans, the better off the sports world is to make future decisions. 
     
  2. Near-Life sporting event updates on social media sites are quickly becoming more popular. Wildmoka is a company that partners with media and broadcast companies to upload game clips online right after they happen. For fans that don’t have access to the game, the clips and information can come as a godsend. Cristian Livadiotti, co-founder at Wildmoka, described the current digital market to SportTechie: “Today’s digital video consumers use their mobile devices for video and may watch highlights more often than a full show or sports match. This is why speed is critical. If you are unable to almost automatically deliver highlights from breaking news or sports events, you risk your content never being seen.  Even worse, loyalty of viewers on digital will instantly shift towards competitors who deliver content faster.” Near-life digital media is a change to a landscape that is so used to live sports being king. With Wildmoka’s use of social media as well, we can see an entirely new landscape shaping up in which fans can watch games and events. 

 

 

 

Power of Sports Five
 

  1. Iconic female athletes share the secrets of survival on #DayoftheGirl. In honor of the United Nations’ International #DayoftheGirl on October 11, two extraordinary female athletes, Diana Nyad, motivational speaker, author, and renowned long-distance swimmer, and Norma Bastidas, a survivor of sexual violence and Guinness World Record breaker for the longest triathlon, shared their top tips for athletes of all shapes, ages, and sizes at this week’s Visionary Women salon in Los Angeles. Nyad and Bastidas spoke in Los Angeles as part of the nonprofit group Visionary Women’s salon series designed to provide a forum for issues that affect women and girls. So far, the organization has donated more than $300,000 to causes that support women, such as the Sundance Institute Women’s Initiative and Communities in Schools, and has set a goal of $1 million for 2018.
     
  2. October’s Football People weeks focus on tackling discrimination in 50 countries. Some of football’s biggest names will join a movement of over one million people to join the Football People weeks, the biggest social change campaign in European sport, to stand together against discrimination and for inclusion. During the fortnight, around 2,000 activities will take place across 50 countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, driving social inclusion and education. Fare Executive Director Piara Powar said: “The Football People weeks is an important period for European football bringing together people who watch, play or run the sport and supporting inclusion and diversity while challenging intolerance and discrimination. This is a big and growing movement, our target is to reach 100,000 people directly taking part in activities. We encourage grassroots organizations to join the campaign and get involved with their own activities.” Football governing bodies including UEFA are backing the campaign, which sits alongside their own #EqualGame initiative, highlighting the importance of leadership in the fight for social equality.
     
  3. New organization, Football Zajedno, promotes equality through sport in the Balkans. The fairplay Initiative (Austria), and the Football Associations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro have started the joint project Football Zajedno in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Football Zajedno aims to promote equality and non-discrimination. The organization will use the popularity of football as a medium for intercultural dialogue, the promotion of human rights and social inclusion. A focus is on the empowerment of disadvantaged groups and enhancing the equal participation of girls and women in and through football from the Western Balkans region.
     
  4. San Francisco Giants receive award for work with youth. Last month, the San Francisco Giants were selected for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award for their innovative and influential approaches to using sports to improve the culture of health in their communities. Approaches include: using baseball as a forum to encourage education, health and violence prevention; utilizing physical activity and sports to provide comfort, hope and healing to children and families affected by grief and addiction; and using baseball as a vehicle to unite divided communities. The Giants were honored in the category of professional sports team community relations department or foundation, giving MLB its latest such representative in the 13-year history of the award, and the first since it was renamed in 2015. The Giants Community Fund supports Junior Giants leagues throughout Northern California, Nevada, and Oregon, and provides assistance to targeted community initiatives in the areas of education, health, and violence prevention. It is a free, non-competitive, co-ed baseball program that served more than 400 cities and 25,000 children this summer and offers youth a chance to learn the basics of baseball, while also discovering the importance of essential life skills. “Sports and sports teams have a unique power to galvanize communities and to serve as a gathering point, in good times and in times that aren’t so good, as well,” said Sue Petersen, Giants Community Fund executive director.
     
  5. PeacePlayers South Africa hosts their first ever Girls Basketball Festival. The festival took place at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Westville Campus in South Africa, with over 120 young girls from schools all over KwaZulu-Natal participating. The festival theme was “Celebrating Women in Sport,” and each participating area school fielded an all-female basketball team to play in the fundraising tournament. By taking part in this tournament, member schools joined the “Gear 4 Our Girls” campaign to collect gear that they no longer use, such as sneakers, sports bras, shorts, T-shirts, and other playing gear. Event organizers said in a statement “empowering our young girls and our female coaches through this fundraiser is paramount. A percentage of the funds will also go towards paying female coaches stipends and supporting future tournaments. This [festival and tournament] was a great testament to the power of PeacePlayers work in South Africa to bring youth together; through their teamwork and dedication to support one another, working to develop future [female] leaders.”

3.15.19: Rick Horrow sits down with NCAA analyst Clark Kellogg

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USA TODAY Sports

3.15.19: Rick Horrow sits down with NCAA analyst Clark Kellogg

Rick Horrow sits down with NCAA analyst Clark Kellogg and brings you the biggest sports business stories of the week.

Listen to the full podcast here.

By Rick Horrow

Podcast edited by Tanner Simkins

  • In Phoenix, ISM Connect is once again in the headlines as Kyle Busch earns the Phoenix sweep for his 199th win in NASCAR’s top three series. On Sunday, Busch won the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway. In October, 2017, smart venue technology pioneer ISM Connect signed a multi-year partnership with Phoenix International Raceway. However, this was much more than a naming rights deal – with ISM, the venue has now received a complete face lift in terms of connectivity and providing a 360-degree interactive fan experience. ISM, which works with nearly every NASCAR track, provides a comprehensive digital marketing strategy for venues that includes robust technological solutions that aim to increase attendance and fan engagement. The company will also work its tech magic in minor league baseball venues, starting this year. In other major NASCAR news, the racing circuit announced that it is pulling its annual awards ceremony out of Las Vegas and taking its Champion’s Week to Nashville. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Awards will be held December 5 at the Music City Center.
  • While the NBA has a robust social media presence, viewership amongst its “core audience” – 18 to 34 year olds – is down 11% season to date and down almost 50% since 2010. According to JohnWallStreet, the league has over 35 million Instagram followers, 3.8 million fans on TikTok, and “several exclusive” Snapchat shows. But Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that the NBA, ESPN, and its partners AT&T and WarnerMedia have yet to figure out how to navigate today’s media landscape. The task at hand is “conditioning a new generation [of fans] that 8 p.m. on Tuesday is 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Because [they’re used to watching content on demand and the game] is perishable.” Silver believes that the NBA can “restore the demographic balance” with a “buy on the fly model” that enables fans to access the league’s most exciting games in progress. While this theory follows the predominant “snackable content” school of thought (aka highlights and look-ins), that tasty bites ultimately lead to fans consuming “meals” (complete games), with a large portion of the target demo opposed to paying for cable, it’s worth wondering if that strategy needs to be revisited.
  • Major League Baseball plans All-Star “Election Day.” As part of sweeping changes to its collective bargaining agreement, MLB and the MLBPA are planning to overhaul All-Star voting and create an Election Day for fans to choose the starters, sources told ESPN. An All-Star Election Day has been discussed but never implemented. Under the proposed plan, standard online voting will take place starting this year. The top three vote-getters at each position in each league would be on the Election Day ballot, and whichever players received the most votes on that single day would determine the All-Star starters. The sides view Election Day as “an opportunity to better engage fans and bring more excitement to the All-Star voting process.” The parties are also “discussing increasing prize money for Home Run Derby participants in hopes of convincing the game’s biggest stars to participate.” MLB and the union have also committed to discussing more complicated economic issues in the midst of the current agreement, which runs through December 2021.  Reaching any significant deal mid-CBA cycle is rare, and reflects that the current unease around today’s evolving free-agent market is not conducive to labor peace.

How you can see Overwatch League in D.C.

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USA Today Sports Images

How you can see Overwatch League in D.C.

Big news in the world of gaming broke on Friday, as the Overwatch League announced new details surrounding home and away matches for the 2020 season. Beginning next year, the matchups will take place all over the world as teams travel to the locations of each franchise.

One of those franchises is based locally in Washington D.C., meaning those in the area will now have the opportunity to Washington Justice compete for money and glory. While a location for the events that normally draw a few thousand in attendance has not been determined yet, e-sports is coming to D.C. in the near future.

Currently, the Overwatch League, which revolves around teams playing the first-person shooter game 'Overwatch', consists of 20 teams both in the United States and around the world competing in events throughout the spring, summer and winter months in order to take home prizes amounting to $5 million. The players on each team also earn a guaranteed salary.

The matches, which have teams competing on four different maps and earning a point for each map victory, have taken place at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California. Special matches such as last year's Grand Final in Brooklyn attracted a crowd of around 18,000.

Besides attending competitions, the matches can be streamed on numerous platforms including Twitch, ESPN, Disney XD, overwatchleague.com, Overwatch League app and the Major League Gaming website and app, according to the league's website.