Legendary esports organisation Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) and leading sports, media and technology investment platform Aser Ventures are partnering up to launch Shinobi Sports — a joint venture that will offer a suite of management, studio and media services to sports clubs looking for opportunities in the esports sphere.
In late 2020, NIP partnered with English Premier League club Leeds United to develop the club’s esports strategy. NIP’s international FIFA star Olle “Ollelito” Arbin successfully represented Leeds in the ePremier League, making it all the way to the 2021 final. The success of this project laid the foundations for the new joint venture.
Shinobi Sports will help partners, including football clubs, to define and execute their esports strategies. Services will include launching and managing esports teams, player recruitment, team management and gaming strategy. Shinobi will also empower clubs to maximize the commercial and fan engagement opportunities associated with esports.
Danny Menken, who is Group Chief Business Development Officer for Aser Ventures’ portfolio company Eleven Sports, will head up the joint venture as Shinobi Sports CEO.
Andrea Radrizzani, Aser Ventures Founder and Chairman, said “The world of esports has exploded in recent times and has brought with it a big opportunity for sports teams to engage their fans in new ways. Shinobi will play an important role in bridging the gap between traditional sport and esports to create new value for clubs, fans and partners. It will also add exciting new capabilities to the Aser Ventures group.”
Danny Menken, CEO, Shinobi Sports, said: “Aser Ventures has deep expertise in media rights, production and content distribution. Ninjas in Pyjamas has a 20 year track record of leading the way in esports. By bringing these capabilities together, Shinobi will offer a compelling proposition to clubs looking to capitalise on the opportunities now associated with esports.”
Hicham Chahine, CEO at NIP and Shinobi Sports Co-Founder, added: “We first connected with Aser Ventures last year, and our discussions led to an extremely successful collaboration with Leeds United. We were impressed with Aser Ventures´ track record, experience and vision in the sports industry, and soon developed a desire to expand our collaboration. We know there is a lot of potential to introduce esports as an attractive extension to sports clubs, and believe that Shinobi are ideally placed to support this process. We are extremely excited to bring this project to life and share it with the world!”