Mike Fleming

Relativity Media‘s Ryan Kavanaugh has aligned with e-sports enterprise Major League Gaming and joined its board of directors. I am not sure where all this sports e-stuff is going, but it certainly bolsters Kavanaugh’s credentials if, for instance, he was vying to become commissioner of your fantasy football league. Actually, Relativity Sports has become one of Kavanaugh’s biggest business, repping over 300 athletes and growing. This alliance, he hopes, will allow him to marry his sports and content creation businesses.

Relativity and Major League Gaming (MLG), the global leader in eSports, today announced a strategic content and marketing partnership across sports management, television, film and digital media. In addition, Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity, has joined the MLG Board of Directors, working with the MLG executive team to further the company’s position as a mainstream media property and breakout sport of the future.

The collaboration will accelerate MLG’s growth, drive appointment viewing and further strengthen Relativity’s presence in the gaming space through MLG’s deep engagement with the elusive young male audience. The two companies will work together in a variety of ways including:

• Sports Management: The companies will build on their success in this area which includes Relativity Sports clients Dwight Howard and Dez Bryant joining MLG’s recent Pro Circuit Championship as a Call of Duty player and broadcaster. These collaborations will increase, leveraging the more than 300 NBA, NFL and MLB clients on Relativity’s roster. Additionally, Relativity will assist MLG’s executive team in establishing a successful growth model for the league.

• Television and Film: Relativity Television will now act as exclusive developer of MLG’s unscripted programming to bring the rich storylines developing around the league to audiences. Relativity and MLG will collaborate to develop innovative campaigns to introduce feature films to MLG’s millions of global fans. MLG’s network today features some of the most influential and connected pro-gaming personalities that have been featured in unscripted hits from “Survivor” to “King of the Nerds.”

• Digital: MLG is one of the largest live video streaming broadcasters in the world delivering extensive, filtered, premium programming daily via www.mlg.tv. Through the partnership, Relativity Digital will work with MLG to expand and further develop content that will appeal to a broader audience and increase offerings via other distribution channels such as YouTube.

“Relativity is committed to creating a wide-variety of high-quality, engaging content across all platforms,” said Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO, Relativity Media. “We share a vision with MLG, which has a truly unique opportunity to establish a model for digital and sports media businesses with its touch points across all platforms – mobile, social, digital and broadcast. MLG’s exclusive partnerships with game publishers, relationships with the biggest influencers in the gaming space, and its own global, digital broadcast platform, make it a stand out for brands who want to reach millions of fans in an authentic way. We look forward to working closely with MLG as they continue to grow.”

“Since our inception, our goal has been to turn competitive video gaming into the ultimate digital spectator sport. Through this collaboration with Relativity, we will now introduce MLG’s premium content and competition to an even broader global, mainstream audience across feature films, television, sports and digital,” said Sundance DiGiovanni, co-founder and CEO of Major League Gaming. “Working with Relativity not only validates our success as an influential media property, but adds greater value to partners looking to be at the forefront of today’s advertising effectiveness model. We are excited to work with the Relativity team and welcome Ryan to our Board of Directors.”