Creed and Black Panther star Michael B. Jordan has invested into the New York-based esports brand Andbox. The organization was formed by Sterling.VC, the investment fund backed by New York Mets owners Sterling Equities, in June to hold both the Overwatch League’s New York Excelsior and the newly-announced Call of Duty team, New York Subliners.
Andbox is a new brand built to help push esports culture into New York as more teams are beginning to represent the iconic city and its people. Recently, the New York Subliners were created to compete in next year’s Call of Duty World League, which will feature 12 teams representing 12 cities across the world.
“I’m never the guy that just wants to cash out. I’m never the guy who just wants to be involved to put my name on it,” Jordan said. “I have to have some passion for it. Call of Duty, if anybody knows me, they know that’s my shit.”
Jordan also said that it was important for Andbox to care about New Yorkers and make sure they were being “authentic to the city.” This is one great point that geo-localized esports have; by connecting a team to a city instead of a brand, people will become much more invested and connected since they will be representing their home.
Spots in these worldwide esports leagues come with hefty price tags, though. As a result, establishing a relationship with the people of their own city will be vital in order to sell out seats when the team is playing at home. Building local revenue will be crucial for the longevity of this league and the leagues to come in various esports.