Editor’s Note: From time to time the Katusa Research Special Situations team looks deep into different sectors. Today we’ll introduce you to a monster profit generating sector, and one company leading the charge.
Every sport has a “golden era”.
You’d be surprised to find that in the 60’s and 70’s, the highest paid athletes were not the Joe Namaths or Sandy Koufaxs of the world.
It was the Don Carters and Harry Smiths.
In 1963, Harry Smith took home more money than the NFL and MLB MVPs, combined.
If you don’t recognize those names, you’re not alone. Harry Smith’s game was bowling.
So, how did a bowler become the highest paid athlete in America?
Well, back then they were household names.
At the time, bowling was hugely popular, and it had a huge audience.
Bowling has humble roots that can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, but it didn’t gain serious traction until after World War II.
With the dawn of nationalized TV in the 1960’s, bowling saw its viewership grow from a blue-collar beer league activity to the mainstage.
Viewership was in the millions. And everyone wanted a piece of the bowling action, including advertisers and sponsors.
It was a sport everyone could understand.
Chances are pretty good that you’ve bowled before. And you know how difficult it can be to get a strike over and over again.
Bowlers were the sports superstars of their day. They drove fancy cars, had flashy clothes, and had more money than they knew what to do with.
Sports Audiences Adapt – And They’re Adapting Right Now
In the late 1970’s, ESPN came out and began showcasing other sports like football and basketball more often.
Bowling was in decline. A new technology and fan base took over and in the ‘80s and ‘90s, stars like Michael Jordan and Steve Young became household names.
They were propelled to international fame and they became massive revenue generators in their industry.
Whenever a large audience follows something engaging, there’s many ways to profit from it, such as prize money, sponsorships and media rights.
It’s Happening Again – A New Technology is Taking Over
Most people don’t know Danish superstar Johan “N0tail” Sundstein, who raked in over $3.1M last year in prize money either.
N0tail’s game is esports.
The old medium of TV is in decline, and channels like ESPN are losing viewers to online content platforms like YouTube and Twitch.
The exponential growth of video games and the rise of streaming and other online platforms for video game enthusiasts is creating a huge opportunity.
Last weekend, the power of the Twitch platform was put on full display.
The company hosted Stream Aid 2020, which had streamers, athletes, celebrities, musicians and esports athletes all coming together to raise money to help fight COVID-19.
What a genius idea.
There are absolutely zero live sports on right now during the global shutdown. All major sports leagues have been paused indefinitely – MLB, NBA, NHL, European Soccer.
Enthusiast Gaming (EGLX.TO) was front and center during the event, lending resources and athletes to the cause.
Katusa Research Chairman, Marin Katusa, sat down with EGLX’s CEO Adrian Montgomery recently to discuss the current market climate and what it means for EGLX and their 200 million monthly visitors.
It’s mindboggling how much traffic the EGLX network gets:
- It’s the largest gaming information network in the U.S.
- It generates nearly 1 billion total views a month across its entire network.
- It reaches more combined unique visitors across all platforms than any other gaming entity in English-speaking markets… almost 44% greater than the next entity in the U.S. and 102% greater than in the U.K.
And EGLX is turning all that traffic into cash.
Last year, thanks to some powerful strategic acquisitions, EGLX achieved pro forma revenue of C$23.6 million. And it’s only going to keep growing from there.
For all these reasons and more, the Katusa Research Special Situations Team decided to do an in-depth analysis of the company. And we’re going to share this research with you for free.
The Katusa Research Special Situations Team
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