This is the full text of SK Telecom's February 25th, 2019 press release.
- The two companies plan to promote the establishment of a global esports joint venture to develop global market opportunities together
- The companies will promote joint management of global esports teams and co-development of esports content
Seoul, South Korea, February 25, 2019 - SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) and Comcast Spectacor today announced that they signed a strategic partnership agreement to cooperate in the esports business, including the establishment of a global esports joint venture. The agreement signing ceremony was held on February 24 with the attendance of Park Jung-ho, CEO and President of SK Telecom, and Tucker Roberts, the president of Spectacor Gaming division of Comcast Spectacor, at MWC 2019 being held in Barcelona, Spain.
Comcast Spectacor is a professional sports and live entertainment company that owns and operates Philadelphia Fusion, one of the esports teams in the Overwatch League. It has proven its extensive know-how by leading the team to the Grand Finals. In addition, Comcast Spectacor operates the Wells Fargo Center arena as well as many professional sports teams including Philadelphia Flyers, a professional ice hockey team playing in the National Hockey League, and Philadelphia Wings, a National Lacrosse League team.
Moreover, Comcast Spectacor is 100 percent owned subsidiary of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology leader with over 54 million subscribers across the world.
Under the agreement, SK Telecom and Comcast Spectacor will promote the establishment of a joint venture company to engage in joint business activities, such as joint operation of global esports teams and development of esports content.
SK Telecom operates ‘SK Telecom T1,’ a professional Korean League of Legends (LoL) team that has won the World Championship three times. With star players like Lee Sang-hyeok, known by his in-game name "Faker," SK Telecom T1 is very popular among global esports fans.
The global esports market is a blue ocean, expanding by 30-40 percent annually. The United States and Korea rank as the No. 1 and third largest global esports markets, respectively, in this fast-growing space.
SK Telecom expects the partnership to serve as an opportunity for the two companies to not only cooperate in esports but also become long-term growth partners in areas including media and content by leveraging their respective strength.
“This agreement marks a significant step for Comcast Spectacor’s esports business as we expand globally and join forces with the most successful League of Legends team in history,” said Tucker Roberts. “We’re excited to form a premier esports organization with SK Telecom and grow our businesses in new directions.”
"We are delighted to announce the strategic partnership with Comcast Spectacor. We at SK Telecom feel that esports is becoming increasingly more popular, especially among the young generation. We have thus founded T1 in 2004 and made the number one team in Korea,” said Park Jung-Ho. “Together with Comcast Spectacor, we hope to become the global number one team.”