Can we just go ahead and crown Daryl Morey as the coolest General Manager in the NBA? The Houston Rockets GM not only got a degree at MIT, but also became a pioneer in the NBA’s analytics movement; not to mention that he is a sick ping-pong player, and isn’t a stranger to interacting with basketball fans via social media. Morey added one more thing to his list of repertoire: becoming a member of the MLG(Major League Gaming) Board.
For the past 11 years, MLG has built a business around e-sports — live and online videogame competitions. The New York Times reported that the company wants to be “Both N.F.L. and ESPN,” meaning that MLG wants a platform for competitive gamers and as a packager of their competitions, through live events and online streaming video programs.
Morey’s role as a board member will include helping to structure gamer leagues, as well as hopefully marketing the league towards more mainstream success. While he states that MLG is fairly mainstream now after being established in 2002, there are still opportunities for the league to expand:
“It’s already extraordinarily mainstream, especially if you expand the definition [of e-sports] to include gaming networks like Game Center, Origin and Steam. Words With Friends is technically an e-sport. The cyber-athlete side of e-sports is narrower, but there’s room for growth. The growing prevalence of devices like smartphones and smart TVs opens up new commercial opportunities for gaming.” -Morey
This has the potential to open up numerous marketing and cross-promoting opportunities for the Rockets and the video game world. Perhaps it may become the next market the NBA will explore.