Mentioned in this article

  • On Tuesday, esports entertainment company Allied Esports Entertainment announced that Brookfield Property Partners will become a shareholder of the company through a $5M USD equity investment.
  • While U.S. mall vacancy rates reach a 20-year high at 9.7%, American real estate firm and mall owner Brookfield Property Partners invests in esports in a bid to increase foot traffic.
  • Allied Esports’ on-mall esports venue concept will be added to Brookfield Property’s existing retail destinations.

The retail business in the U.S. is struggling as vacancies in U.S. shopping malls just reached the highest rate of the millennial, and Wall Street firm Credit Suisse predicted 20 to 25% of malls to close down by 2022 in a 2017 research note. According to a study published by Reis Moody’s Analytics on Tuesday, the current mall vacancy rate is 9.7% (via Financial Times). Landlords are trying to counteract this trend by making experience a core focus of retail. Aside from retail stores, other attractions and amenities like theme parks and aquariums are expected to drive foot traffic in these massive centers.

Esports property and entertainment company Allied Esports Entertainment (AESE) seized the opportunity of this trend and developed an on-mall esports venue concept following a $5M investment by Simon Property Group. The partnership will bring esports venues to several Simon-owned malls, including the recently announced esports venue in the Mall of Georgia in Buford.

On Tuesday, AESE announced that a second real estate firm, Brookfield Property Partners (BPY), will become a shareholder of the company through a $5M equity investment. Both companies are listed on the Nasdaq and the terms of the agreement will be described in AESE’s next Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Subsequently to the strategic investment, AESE will bring its on-mall esports venue concept to BPY’s existing retail destinations. The two companies will collaborate on the development of dedicated esports venues and gaming experiences.

“As esports continues a pattern of tremendous growth, infrastructure and the creation of live, in-person experiences for gamers of all levels will become paramount to the overall ecosystem and the communities that are being developed,” said Frank Ng, CEO of Allied Esports Entertainment, in a release. “Retail locations like shopping malls are the perfect foundation for this industry innovation and we’re excited to expand our on-mall presence with a global leader like Brookfield Properties.”

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