When Michael Prindiville started at NBC Sports Ventures in 2015, esports was still a twinkle in the eye of most traditional broadcasters’ eyes, but he shepherded several competitive gaming broadcasts to NBC’s traditional and digital platforms. Then, in 2018, he took the helm of the venerable esports organization Team Dignitas—which is owned by the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers—where he’s gotten a look at esports management from the inside. Quartz asked him for his perspective on player rights, market corrections, and the difference between sports stars and esports pros.
Quartz: There’s been a lot of crossover between traditional sports owners and esports. You’re obviously part of that because the 76ers own Team Dignitas. What do you make of that trend?
Prindiville: I think in the last 100 years or so we’ve seen traditional sports lead the way in terms of building valuable franchises and properties. They’re very much analog, and with the wave of evolution and digital competition, I think a lot of these traditional sports entities see this as the future. They know they need to continue to diversify their business and advance their existing business. Any traditional sports owner that gets exposure to esports and gaming, they see the same excitement and engagement as what they have in traditional sports. They just know that that’s where they need to be.