National Basketball Association (NBA) side the Miami Heat have acquired a stake in European eSports organisation Misfits.
The two parties have also entered into a strategic partnership, which will see the Heat offer Misfits assistance across a number of areas, including branding, promotion and sponsorship activation.
The partnership details also call for cross-promotion between the Heat and Misfits. ESPN’s Jacob Wolf has reported that Misfits are set to develop new uniforms matching the Heat’s colours.
Nick Arison, Miami Heat’s chief executive, said: “The Miami Heat pride ourselves on being innovative in all aspects of sports and business. For us, it made perfect sense to partner with Misfits, a young and ambitious franchise in a sport that is blazing a trail.”
“Misfits is thrilled to be partnering with the Heat organisation,” added Misfits chief executive Ben Spoont. “This partnership will be the catalyst and foundation to our continued expansion of the Misfits organisation into a global eSports company and brand.”
The Miami Heat’s entry into eSports follows a number of similar deals around the NBA. In 2016 the Philadelphia 76ers purchased the Apex and Dignitas teams, while former NBA stars Magic Johnson, Rick Fox and Shaquille O’Neal have also all invested in the sector.
The Miami Heat are currently 14th in the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings, having won just 11 of their opening 40 games.