Game to open concessions and gaming areas in Sports Direct stores
Game Digital has entered into an agreement with Sports Direct in which it will roll out its Belong gaming areas and Game retail concessions in selected Sports Direct stores.
As part of the agreement, Sports Direct has acquired a 50% interest in the rights of the Belong intellectual property for £3.2 million and a 50% profit share of future profits of Belong and associated venues.
Sports Direct will also provide loan facilities of up to £55 million which Game can use to fund the costs for new venues and ongoing development of the Belong website and its tournament management system linked to live booking events.
Martyn Gibbs, Game Digital chief executive, said: “I am delighted that through the collaboration agreement we are able to accelerate the implementation of a key element of our transformational strategy to move from a seller of physical products to providing gaming experiences.
“Having launched the Belong brand just over a year ago, we have now opened 19 arenas and are very encouraged by the popularity and performance of these locations. We look forward to collaborating with Sports Direct to increase the availability and scale of Belong and to capitalise on the increasing overlap between sports and esports fans by bringing this unique experience to a wider consumer base.”
New venues will only be opened if both Game Retail and Sports Direct agree to do so following a proposal as part of an approval process. Game Retail will own the fixtures and fittings of the venues.
Jon Kempster, Sports Direct’s chief financial officer, said: “We are very happy to partner with Game in building an increased presence in the esports market through the Belong brand. This is a very good example of building a commercial relationship via our strategic investment approach.”
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