LEADING ESPORTS TEAM DIGNITAS NAMES INTERNATIONAL GAMING INDUSTRY LEADER JONATHAN KEMP AS NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
KEMP BRINGS IDEAL COMBINATION OF GAMING AND BRAND ACTIVATION - PUBLISHING BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO GAMES INCLUDING LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER AND A SUCCESSFUL TRACK RECORD ACTIVATING GLOBAL BRANDS IN SPORTS DURING LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES
NEW CEO TO LEAD CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING ESPORTS TEAM RECENTLY ACQUIRED BY PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 17, 2016 – Team Dignitas, the championship-winning eSports franchise recently acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers, has named gaming industry leader Jonathan Kemp to the position of Chief Executive Officer. As the CEO, Jonathan will oversee all aspects of Team Dignitas including branding, publicity and competitive and commercial strategies. He will work closely with Team President Michael O’Dell and General Manager and Vice President Michael Slan to support team operations. Kemp brings a wealth of game publishing, content creation and global partnership activation experience to Team Dignitas. As the former Chief Operating Officer for leading game publisher Eidos, Kemp oversaw launches supporting wildly popular games including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Hitman. He served as the International Olympic Committee’s interactive entertainment partner and licensee for the London 2012 Olympics Games, supervising brand integration in gaming content. More recently Kemp was an executive with marketing agency Epsilon, supervising customer acquisition and retention for major international brands including Jaguar Land Rover and fan engagement for leading sports teams including Wasps Rugby Football Club.
“It is my goal to ensure that we continue to field winning teams and that we work closely with the passionate Team Dignitas fans,” said Team Dignitas Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Kemp. “I look forward to working with Michael O’Dell and Michael Slan on the team side and collaborating with the Philadelphia 76ers and Greg Richardson on strategy and business operations. With our combination of player and executive talent, a legendary team, and the support, infrastructure and connections of the Philadelphia 76ers and their ownership group, I am confident we will be successful together.”
The Philadelphia 76ers recently acquired a controlling interest in eSports heritage team, Team Dignitas and rising League of Legends powerhouse Team Apex, marking the first time an ownership group of a North American sports franchise has acquired an eSports team. Under the Team Dignitas banner, the Sixers will utilize their business expertise and vast resources to bring infrastructure and alignment to team and business operations for Team Dignitas’ League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and Smite squads.
“Jonathan’s background is tailor-made for success in eSports,” said Greg Richardson, Chairman of Team Dignitas. “His experience with the London Olympics and Wasps Rugby Football Club gives him a keen insight into the sports world. The depth of his experience in games connects him to our fans and our partners and his track record in working with the world’s top brands will accelerate our business.”
“In the eSports space, and with a renowned brand like Team Dignitas, we have the opportunity to build an elite team, offer premier exposure for partners seeking a portal into the competitive gaming market and most importantly, amplify engagement and access for our fan base,” said Philadelphia 76ers Jake Reynolds, Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service. “Jonathan’s experience in game publishing and activating partnerships with major global brands will elevate our partnership offerings in a professional sports ecosystem that is growing at an unprecedented rate.”
Kemp is a former Senior Executive and PLC Board Member at what was the time one of the video game industry’s largest publishers, Eidos. Kemp oversaw Eidos’s global publishing division and was a key member of the management team responsible for publishing some of the industry’s most dominant gaming franchises, including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Hitman.
During his time with ISM, the International Olympic Committee’s interactive entertainment partner and licensee, Kemp was responsible for the creation of gaming content for the biggest sporting event of the decade, the London 2012 Olympic Games. He was responsible for authentic gaming integration and Olympic Partner activations for global brands including Samsung and P&G.
As an SVP with global marketing agency Epsilon, Kemp created an international business portfolio focusing on sport and media, working with clients such as UK-based Wasps Rugby Football Club of the English Premiership League on their fan acquisition, engagement and retention campaigns during the time of their successful geographical transition out of London. He also oversaw international marketing campaigns for leading brands including Jaguar Land Rover and Dell.
The Philadelphia 76ers recent acquisition of Team Dignitas marks another first for the Philadelphia 76ers who made international headlines in April 2016 when they signed StubHub as the first regular season jersey patch partner in North American professional sports history. On Sept. 23, the Sixers opened the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex, the largest and most technologically advanced training complex in professional sports. The complex will also be home to the Sixers Innovation Lab Crafted by Kimball; which focuses on rapidly growing, early stage companies in the consumer space and emphasizes providing individualized attention to start-ups with potential.
ABOUT TEAM DIGNITAS:
Team Dignitas is an international eSports team with one of the most iconic and recognizable brands in the professional gaming industry. Managed by gaming industry veterans Team Chairman Greg Richardson, CEO Jonathan Kemp and President Michael O’Dell, Team Dignitas' highly talented and dedicated international squad of players are recognized across the globe for tournament winning endeavors. Team Dignitas' innovative and authentic brand position offers a premier opportunity for partners seeking a direct portal into the gaming and eSports market. Team Dignitas was originally formed in September 2003 with the merger of two Battlefield 1942 teams. In September 2016 the new Team Dignitas merged with League of Legends powerhouse Team Apex and was acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. Team Dignitas joins a family of innovative and competitive holdings owned by an investor group led by Managing General Partner Josh Harris and Co-Managing Partner David Blitzer, which includes the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League, Crystal Palace of the Premier League and the Prudential Center, a 18,000 seat, state-of-the-art, multi-purpose arena in Newark, N.J.
ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS:
The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most storied franchises in the National Basketball Association, having won three World Championships, earning nine trips to The Finals and making 47 playoff appearances over 67 seasons. The team is owned by an investor group led by Managing General Partner Josh Harris.