With a passionate fan-base with a passionate fan-base, the NBA 2K League has established itself as a viable and thriving product. But Donohue states that "we think we're only scratching the surface." Donohue focuses on the 1.9 billion people who follow the NBA on social media, as a massive pool of potential.
Then there's the matter of the possibility that NBA 2K can operate as an avenue to get new fans in basketball generally this is something Washington Wizards owner and media mogul Ted Leonsis has theorized. Indeed, Donohue has his own story, albeit nearer to home.
"My personal son, as playing 2k and then suddenly the kid is coming to me and reading the Warriors roster and other information about Steph Curry and I'm like"how is he staying up 'til 10 o'clock at night to look at these games, when it's only seven years old is that right? All through 2K, he's studying the game, and who's the best by their ratings in 2K."
For Donohue this emphasizes the "transformation taking place in how young people consume content, and how different it's getting." Brands are benefiting from this which means esports provides "a perfect opportunity for partners, for example in addressing an audience of a younger age that might not be in traditional channels.
"The NBA is learning too about the new demographic and what they would like to discover. "The biggest difference in Esports that I've noticed compared to traditional sports is the voice of the fan, or the power of the fan" Donohue says.
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