Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott has signed on with esports organization Dignitas as both a professional Rocket League player and content creator. His esports duties will be in addition to his NFL playing schedule for the Eagles. The deal marks the fourth signing for Dignitas’ Rocket League roster, and importantly, it’s the first time that an NFL player has also committed to play professionally for an esports team. Dignitas is also planning to work with Scott on a documentary about his nascent esports career.
The Eagles were one of the first NFL teams to get more serious about esports, partnering with Esports Entertainment Group (EEG), which became a shareholder last year. EEG has since expanded its roster of NFL esports partners to include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Baltimore Ravens, LA Chargers, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, and more.
As a league, the NFL has become more proactive in esports itself, and announced a new collaboration with esports org and lifestyle brand FaZe Clan just prior to the Super Bowl, building on a partnership they first established in 2019. The latest marketing initiative will see FaZe Clan and the NFL work on co-branded content, and this year’s Super Bowl will host a co-branded flag football game between FaZe members and NFL talent.
Both Boston Scott’s signing with Dignitas and the NFL teaming up with FaZe Clan should yield increased awareness for the Eagles and the NFL overall among a younger, gaming-centric audience. Traditional sports have watched their core demographic grow older and they’re seeking ways to attract younger fans. Gaming and the esports-sports talent overlap provides a natural fit. In its announcement with FaZe, the NFL acknowledged that the partnership is “aimed at engaging our casual Gen Z fans.”
For the Eagles and Scott, the Rocket League affiliation should do well. Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows not only that Rocket League esports viewers watch more traditional sports than the general US population – and that gap is especially wide for soccer leagues – but they are particularly interested in NFL games, with 35% of Rocket League viewers also watching the NFL, which is ahead of other major team sports.