NEW YORK, July 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- One week after expanding into baseball, VaynerSports co-founders Gary and AJ Vaynerchuk announced the launch of VaynerGaming, a new division focused on esports athletes and gaming personalities.
Founded in 2016 as a football agency, VaynerSports looks to continue its disruption of the traditional sports representation landscape with its third division, with future expansion announcements coming soon.
"I have been quietly paying attention to the gaming industry for over a decade, building relationships and following the trends. One of the most exciting things about it, for me, is the gamers themselves. And when I look at the culture, the interest in the sector from other athletes, artists, celebrities - it is enormous. This is a very significant expansion for VaynerSports," said Gary Vaynerchuk.
Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf, the 2019 Esports Gamer of the Year, is VaynerGaming's first client. Bugha originally signed with Vaynerchuk's agency after earning overnight success, and a $3 million prize, when he won the inaugural Fortnite World Cup last summer. Reed Bergman, managing partner at VaynerTalent, oversaw his initial representation until VaynerGaming launched this month.
Bergman and VaynerSports Executive Vice President Mike Neligan have worked together to secure lucrative long-term partnerships for Bugha with Samsung, Mondelez, and retail chain Five Below, along with an appearance in the Sabra Hummus Super Bowl commercial this past February - produced by VaynerMedia. The team has also brokered a long-term, exclusive streaming partnership with Twitch and renegotiated Bugha's existing team deal with the Sentinels.
Gaming industry veteran Darren Glover will serve as the division lead and work closely alongside Neligan and VaynerSports co-CEO AJ Vaynerchuk. Prior to joining VaynerSports, Glover has helped professional athletes, celebrities and esports athletes build their communities inside the world of gaming.
"While lucrative, the gaming industry is still the wild wild west and unlike other sports, relevancy is not necessarily tied strictly to performance or wins and losses. I don't believe anyone has a better 'secret sauce' than what Gary and the Vayner ecosystem does for brands, talent, and professional athletes. I'm extremely excited to implement that strategy on behalf of esports athletes, gaming content creators, and VaynerSports athletes as we launch a first-of-its-kind agency division," said Darren Glover.
Also, joining VaynerGaming is content and brand strategist Brandon Hatcher, who has led the content development for Bugha's brand over the past nine months, yielding more than 300% social media growth. Tyler Schmitt, Gary's Office of the CEO, has served as Bugha's day-to-day manager and will continue to play a vital role in the expansion of VaynerGaming and future clients.
"The strategy for Bugha for the past nine months has proven successful and we've put the pieces in place to scale and bring on additional players and personalities that we can elevate to a whole new level," said Tyler Schmitt.
For more information on VaynerSports, VaynerGaming or Bugha, please reach out to Hayley Cohen, PR, at [email protected].