How sold is Take-Two Interactive on basketball? A billion dollars says a lot!
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How sold is Take-Two Interactive on basketball? A billion dollars says a lot!

Take-Two Interactive Software, the market-leading publisher behind a host of popular video game franchises like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, is reportedly paying up to $1.1 billion in licensing fees to the NBA and the NBPA. The payments, due over the next seven years, will see Take-Two continue to evolve its ongoing NBA series, the latest iteration of which (NBA 2K18) set a sales record by shifting 10 million units.

So far this year, Take-Two’s share price has appreciated by 2%

graph 17 taketwo

Source: Yahoo Finance

The franchise, NBA 2K League is an esports collaboration between the gaming company and the sports association. Its draw for players is closely linked to the game’s realism, so losing a licensing deal would be a no-go for Take-Two. It’s a sign as to how much the company believes in it that it’s willing to make a ten-figure payment to keep the franchise going.

Of course, Take-Two has good reason for that faith: in the third quarter of 2018, video game spending in the US alone hit $9.1 billion, and NBA 2K was last year’s most popular sporting title.

Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two’s chairman and CEO, said: “The NBA has been an outstanding partner throughout the history of the NBA 2K franchise, contributing significantly to its unparalleled success and the ability to grow its audience around the world across a myriad of platforms and offerings. We’re thrilled to be in business with [commissioner Adam Silver] and the entire team at the NBA, and enter into the longest-ever partnership extension between our organizations. Together, we’re confident that we will continue to find new and innovative ways to captivate and engage basketball fans, and expand further the success of the NBA 2K brand.”


Dominion holds Take-Two Interactive in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.

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