by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 08, 2017
The growth of e-sports, multiplayer videogames played by professionals in front of spectators, and their impact on the travel industry, will be the focus of the first eSportsTravel Summit, to be part of the TEAMS '17 Conference & Expo, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in Orlando. TEAMS, owned by M&C's parent, Northstar Travel Group, is the world's largest gathering of sports-event organizers.
 
"We are assembling an impressive presenter roster for this inaugural summit," said Timothy Schneider, founder and chairman of the Sports Division of Northstar Travel Group, which publishes SportsTravel magazine and organizes the TEAMS Conference & Expo. "Event organizers, destinations and suppliers who want to gain a better understanding of the impact of e-sports should make plans now to attend the eSportsTravel Summit at TEAMS '17."
 
Included with TEAMS Conference registration, the eSportsTravel Summit will begin with a session on the similarities and differences between organizing and hosting e-sports competitions, which are filling venues from Madison Square Garden in New York to the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The session will be moderated by Nathan Lindberg, director of global e-sports sponsorships for Twitch, a social video platform for video gaming.
 
The summit also will feature "The Digitalization of Sports: How AI, AR, VR and eSports Will Affect Your Events," as part of the TEAMS Conference Super Sessions. Presenters will include Scott Gutterman, vice president of digital operations for the PGA Tour, and Tobias Sherman, former global head of e-sports for WME-IMG, a global marketing group. The session will be moderated by Manny Anekal, founder and CEO of the Next Level, a daily news resource for the e-sports industry.
 
The eSportsTravel Summit will conclude with a session examining the launch of the NBA 2K League, with professional gamers playing the basketball video game, which the NBA sees as a platform for the engagement of the next generation of sports fans. On the dais will be Aaron Ryan, senior vice president of business operations for the NBA 2K League; Ted Dalton, senior vice president of corporate partnerships and business development for the Boston Celtics; Alex Martins, CEO of the Orlando Magic; Josh Barney, director of e-sports and technology for the Utah Jazz; and broadcaster Bonnie Bernstein, vice president of content and brand development for Campus Insiders, which covers college sports. 
 
"Just as e-sports represents the evolution of the sports-event industry, the eSportsTravel Summit represents the continued growth and evolution of the TEAMS Conference & Expo," said Schneider. "We've been tracking the growth of e-sports in SportsTravel and at TEAMS for the past few years, but now the phenomenon of e-sports is maturing into a powerhouse for the travel industry. Attendees at TEAMS '17 will play a part in the evolution of our industry -- and that's something that will only happen at TEAMS."
 
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