Motorsport Network's strategic push into the rapidly growing esport sector gained extra momentum today with the acquisition of a market-leading specialist business, Virtually Entertained, that operates a portfolio of esports services spanning the complete range of capabilities required to deliver motor racing esports events.
Headquartered at the Silverstone Innovation Centre, Virtually Entertained has delivered esport solutions for major OEMs and brands including Nissan and Toyota, courtesy of its integrated logistics capability and its depth of sectorial experience & knowledge.
The new addition to Motorsport Network's portfolio will position the organisation as a leader in conceiving, promoting and delivering esports to the world's largest motorsport audience. Motorsport Network'sjoint venture with Le Mans and long-term licence with the NASCAR teams through the Race Teams Alliance is a precursor to a number of forthcoming esport announcements with the promoters of premier international championships.
Motorsport Network's Global Head of Esports, Stephen Hood explained, "We are already involved in two major esport series, in NASCAR through our ownership of 704Games who developed our game for the eNASCAR Heat Pro League and our joint venture in the Le Mans Esports Series. With this latest acquisition, we are delivering on our firm commitment to offer the most complete esport capability to the benefit of both our clients and the global audiences we entertain."
Virtually Entertained will integrate across Motorsport Network, from enhanced player recruitment across the world's largest motorsport audiences to competitor incentivisation courtesy of the Network's ecommerce businesses and editorial reporting from news to live streaming, as well as esport data analytics and rankings with Motorsport Stats.
Virtually Entertainedis also assisting Motorsport Network with the fourth Le Mans Esports round that will be held between the 10th and 13th of January 2019 at the Autosport International Show at Birmingham's NEC, Europe's largest trade and consumer motorsport event.
Eric Ward, who leads Motorsport Network's strategic acquisitions as its Innovation Director said, "Virtually Entertained is a young, smart business that has cleverly identified a great service portfolio amid the huge growth we are witnessing in esport. By aligning their capabilities with the power of Motorsport Network and our existing esport engagements, we have a great opportunity to take our audiences on this new journey."
Virtually Entertained's Managing Director, Ben Rossiter-Turner said, "Our business has enjoyed rapid growth since launching a few short years ago. Our "all-star" team have helped to deliver both GT Academy and McLaren's World's Fastest Gamer in the past as well as the more recent Nissan GT Sport Cup.
"We're excited to create more events and competitions that reach bigger audiences as part of Motorsport Network. We recognised the organisation's commitment to esports and the amazing array of opportunities that this new association presents. We're at the start of a very exciting journey together."