Echo Fox Owner Rick Fox Starts Equity Firm, Focus on Esports and Digital Media
Rick Fox, the former NBA World Champion, has been busy helping the esports realm grow to new heights. Echo Fox, his professional organization that currently manages five teams and nine individual players across a plethora of games, has quickly become a highly recognizable brand in the sector. Furthermore, he is one of the highest-profile members of the traditional sports arena that has fully embraced the growth and potential of esports. While other current and former professional athletes, such as Jeremy Lin or Chris Kluwe, have also affirmed the validity of esports, few have invested as much time, money, and dedication to the craft as Fox. Now, he is looking to take another step towards increasing the funding available in the sector.
On April 13, Fox launched Vision Venture Partners (VVP), a private equity firm that will have an initial focus towards the esports, digital entertainment, and lifestyle food and beverage sectors. With co-founders Stratton Sclavos and Amit Raizada as well as CEO Jace Hall, Fox plans on running a different style of equity firm. Beyond simply investing in a new realm, the firm has stressed they will be exceptionally personal with their fundings. According to Sclavos, “What’s unique about VVP relative to other private equity firms is not only the capital infusions we are making, but we are also operationally hands-on.” Furthermore, each of the four principal members will be actively involved in every aspect of the firm’s existence. Whether it be managing, raising funds, growing the firm’s staff, or exploring new investment opportunities, the heads are all expected to pull their weight.
Using Fox’s own esports organization as a primary investment, the group have formed a base in Beverly Hills and are currently working to establish high-quality esports content creators and training facilities as a base for the group’s initial growth. But even with Rick Fox at the helm, the competition is fierce to find the most profitable investments in the rapidly-growing space. For example, several high-profile investment groups combined their resources to invest over seven million dollars into the highly-regarded Fnatic organization. Similarly, Hyundai Motors continues to believe in the space, becoming the main sponsor behind the 2017 Esports WRC Championship. While the list of big-name investors and corporations entering the sector continues to grow, only time will tell if Fox and his team can outpace the competition. However, even if VVP struggles to find a successful foothold in esports, few can confidently assert Rick Fox will not continue to be a voice looking to drive competitive gaming into the mainstream consciousness, for better or worse.