NBA champion and eSports team owner Rick Fox joins GeekWire Sports Tech Summit lineup

Rick Fox.

You probably know Rick Fox from his days as an NBA hoopster, or for his appearances on shows like Oz and Dancing with the Stars.

But now the 47-year-old is becoming a figure in the growing eSports industry.

After winning three NBA titles with the Lakers and retiring from the league in 2014, Fox bought a professional eSports franchise called Echo Fox in 2015.

Now Fox devotes a majority of his time — judging by his Twitter feed — to the eSports world.

Brandon Beck.

We’re excited to welcome Fox to our second annual GeekWire Sports Tech Summit, where he’ll be moderating a fireside chat with Riot Games co-founder Brandon Beck, who helped launch League of Legends 11 years ago and has turned it into one of the most popular gaming franchises of all time that now attracts more than 100 million gamers each month.

Fox and Beck will share their insights about the world of eSports and talk about what the future holds for the burgeoning industry that could produce $1.5 billion in revenues by 2020.

In her annual Internet Trends report, Mary Meeker noted last month that an equal number of millennials prefer eSports to traditional sports. She also noted that eSports viewership is up 40 percent since last year.

Via Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report.
Via Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report.
Bryce Blum.

Fox and Beck, also a co-owner of LAFC, will talk about the similarities and differences between eSports and traditional sports, and what each industry can learn from one another. They’ll also discuss the tools and technologies that eSports companies are utilizing.

Later in the day at the Sports Tech Summit, we’ll continue exploring the world of eSports with Bryce Blum, an executive vice president at Catalyst Sports & Media and an eSports guru who will give a Power Talk on the state of the industry. Blum, who also founded an eSports law firm and is a contributing writer for ESPN, has worked on major deals involving every eSports title. His clients range from long-standing, endemic eSports entities to marquee sports, media, and entertainment companies looking to capitalize on the explosive growth of the industry.

You can hear from Fox, Beck, Blum, and other leaders in the sports technology industry — folks like Seattle Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto; NFL COO Tod Leiweke; San Francisco 49ers President Al Guido; WNBA legend Sue Bird; Bleacher Report CEO Dave Finocchio; Key Arena renovation leader Tim Leiweke; and many others — at the Sports Tech Summit this Wednesday and Thursday in Seattle at CenturyLink Field. Tickets are still available below; for those attending, here’s an FAQ page for the event.