VanEck announced the launch of the VanEck Vectors® Video Gaming and eSports ETF (NYSE Arca: ESPO).
“Just a few years ago, talk of sold out stadiums, viewership in the millions, high-profile sponsors, and notable marketing arrangements would have been centered on football, baseball, basketball or hockey. But today, that talk can just as easily be applied to the world of video games and eSports,” said Ed Lopez, Head of ETF product at VanEck. “This is the future of sports and a growth story that is global in scope.”
The video game market is undergoing a period of transformative growth, added Lopez, and is predicted to generate close to $140 billion in revenue in 2018, an increase of more than 13 percent from 2017. It’s not just that people are playing more video games on more platforms; one of the driving factors of growth for the industry has been the emergence of professional video gaming, or eSports. We anticipate that established video game companies are set to benefit the most with the rise of eSports, through partnerships, league ownership, sponsorships, franchising, and other marketing arrangements.
“eSports have brought video games out of the rec room and into the stadiums,” continued Lopez. eSports has become one of the largest spectator sports in the world with games streamed online or on major broadcast outlets like ESPN and at live gaming events held in stadiums. For example, the League of Legends world finals in 2017 attracted more viewers than the MLB World Series, the NBA finals, and the NHL Stanley Cup finals. In 2018, the global eSports audience is expected to reach 380 million people.
“The video game industry is disrupting traditional media and entertainment,” said Lopez, “and with a young and highly engaged demographic, ESPO provides investors access to what we believe can be a long-term growth story.”
ESPO seeks to track, before fees and expenses, the performance of the MVIS® Global Video Gaming and eSports Index (MVESPO). The index is a rules-based, modified capitalization weighted, float adjusted index intended to give investors a means of tracking the overall performance of companies involved in video gaming and eSports. This may include companies developing video games and related software, streaming services, and/or those involved in eSports events. To be included in the index, companies must generate at least 50% of their revenues from video gaming or eSports. This allows ESPO to have the highest concentration, among U.S.-listed ETFs, of pure play names participating in this fast-growing space.
ESPO has a gross expense ratio of 0.60% and a net expense ratio of 0.55%, which is capped contractually until [February 1, 2020.]
ESPO joins VanEck’s suite of industry-focused equity ETFs, which also includes the VanEck Vectors Semiconductor ETF (SMH®), VanEck Vectors Biotech ETF (BBH®), VanEck Vectors Environmental Services ETF (EVX®), VanEck Vectors Generic Drugs ETF (GNRX), VanEck Vectors Pharmaceutical ETF (PPH®), VanEck Vectors Retail ETF (RTH®), and VanEck Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK®).
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