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In this episode, I am joined by Dave Capitano, the Higher Education Practice Leader at Baker Tilly. Dave has worked with hundreds of universities on a variety of higher education matters, from finance and operations issues to esports and name, image and likeness.
I was recently on Dave's podcast discussing the first 50 days of NIL. In our time off air, he mentioned his passion for esports, and I jumped at the chance to have him come on and educate me because I've admittedly been sleeping on esports.
Did you know more than 175 colleges and universities have an officially recognized varsity esports program with more than 5,000 student athletes participating in esports? There's a whopping $16M in scholarships for elite esports players--a fact I was shocked to learn. In addition, more than 475 institutions have esports clubs.
Dave joined me this week to share what it takes to add esports, the revenue opportunities, and even the crossover opportunities with athletic departments. Sneak peek: he shared a fantastic idea I think all athletic departments should steal with regards to engaging donors!
Some things that Dave and I discussed on the podcast were:
- The popularity of esports at college universities ranging from the Division I to the club sports level
- The scholarship opportunities involved with esports
- The different revenue opportunities involved with esports
- Facility considerations for esports
- The challenges of policing your team in a competitive, virtual world
- A look at esports recruiting
- Crossover opportunities for athletic departments and esports programs
Check out Baker Tilly's esports evaluation guide for more information.
You can follow Baker Tilly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. As mentioned, you can also follow Dave on TikTok.
You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram to discuss further, ask additional questions or suggest future episodes.
You can find more of my analysis on the business of college sports at BusinessofCollegeSports.com and Forbes.