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GameStop Partners with Esports Brands Amid Corporate Changes

GameStop Corp. announced in a press release today the partnership with Complexity Gaming in a move to shift away from the retail brand.

The Partnership

CNBC first reported that GameStop (NYSE:GME) has released a press statement about GameStop partnering with Complexity Gaming in Texas. GameStop officially noted that they will be a sponsor for the title sponsor for the team and the state of the are facility that in Frisco, Texas. The facility is 11,000 sq. ft. with a public gaming area for fans and sponsors, as well as cutting-edge performance training via data analytics, enhanced gaming equipment, a video studio, and a merchandise wall. Arguably the most interesting part of the facility is that it’s a shared location with the Dallas Cowboys headquarters (the most valuable sports franchise in the world). GameStop notes there would be “seamless coordination and integration between the two organizations,” but doesn’t provide any insight into how they will be coordinated.

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GameStop also announced partnerships with Infinite Esports, and Envy Gaming (owners of Team Envy and Dallas Fuel in Overwatch League). They also announced other events such as clinics and Esports watch parties that will be elaborated more over time by the company.

New Leadership and New Direction

Seemingly unnoticed by many GameStop announced on March 21st they will be appointing a new CEO George Sherman commencing on April 15th replacing Shane Kim. It is strange for a company to announce a new direction while the current CEO is on their way out.
Sherman noted in his announcement on March 21st:

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead GameStop, one of the leading and most recognized brands in the video game industry. I bring significant experience working with other retailers that have undergone large, successful transformations and look forward to leveraging GameStop’s industry position, history, and brand. The team has already done extensive strategic work to identify and pursue new customer-centric opportunities that will further expand the culture of gaming in new and exciting ways. I look forward to leading our associates and believe that we have a tremendous opportunity in front of us to continue to fuel the passion of gamers around the world.”

Source

Interestingly enough the news of a new CEO and the partnerships haven’t moved the stock much at all, it’s currently trading down about a percent over the last week, which seems investors are taking a wait and see approach to the business. At the end of January, the stock lost almost 40% when it abandoned their plans to sell itself, after years of decline in stock value. GameStop is the largest physical video game retailer in the United States, along with many subsidiaries worldwide including EB Games, Game Informer, Babbage’s, Micromania, Geeknet and many more.

We’ve been reporting for years on the shift towards digital marketplaces reducing the profits of physical stores, and most recently last week we reported Sony will no longer sell full game digital download codes at retail stores, causing another blow to the company. GameStop is being forced to diversify and moving into Esports seems like a smart move with the growth seen over the last few years. Earnings for the all-important holiday season will be released on April 2nd, we’ll have full coverage on the site as soon as it is released.

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