POP WARNER LAUNCHES ESPORTS PROGRAM WITH LEADING GAMING ENTERPRISE PLATFORM RIVAL
Entry into esports aims to connect nationwide Pop Warner community and bring new fundraising opportunities to associations
NEW YORK (September 2, 2021) – Pop Warner Little Scholars, the nation’s oldest youth football, cheer and dance organization, will be entering the world of gaming with its new partner Rival, a first-of-its-kind, enterprise platform solution that will allow Pop Warner members from across the country to compete in a range of gaming titles and provide new fundraising opportunities for local programs.
While gaming among younger generations has grown steadily over the past decade, the pandemic accelerated its popularity as many turned to esports when traditional live sports came to a halt. Among Generation Z (age 6-24), gaming is the top entertainment activity, with nearly 90 percent playing video games daily or weekly. Today, more than 170 U.S. colleges and universities have varsity esports programs.
“Gaming has become a massive pastime for many young people, especially over the past year. When they’re not out on the field physically playing their sport, they’re often playing them on their phones, consoles or computers. The same can be said of many of today’s top professional athletes,” said Jon Butler, executive director of Pop Warner Little Scholars. “We see the launch of our esports program with Rival as a way to not only enhance the Pop Warner experience and strengthen the Pop Warner community, but create additional revenue streams in the form of fundraising tournaments and events for associations to continue supporting their teams.”
As part of the partnership, Rival will become the national provider for all Pop Warner esports competitions, programs and platforms, enabling members to participate in virtual tournaments and recreational competitive play for games like Rocket League, Madden’22, 2K’22 and NHL’22. Players and associations can create their own tournaments, competing against teammates or other Pop Warner members in a secure, safe environment, and collect points to win prizes from Pop Warner sponsors including Panini, Gatorade and others.
“Rival is excited to be partnering with one of the most well-respected and established youth sports organizations in the country. We look forward to bringing our technology platform to Pop Warner to provide its young student athletes with new, innovative and safe programming while expanding fundraising opportunities for its associations,” said Matt Virtue, Rival CEO.
About Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.
Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Langhorne, PA, Pop Warner Little Scholars is the nation’s oldest youth football, cheerleading and dance organization and the only youth sports organization that emphasizes academics as a prerequisite for participation. Pop Warner participants enjoy the opportunity to learn and compete in their sports in an atmosphere that emphasizes fun, safety, academics and character. For more information on Pop Warner and its programs visit popwarner.com or follow Pop Warner on Twitter @Pop_Warner, Facebook @PopWarnerLittleScholars, Instagram @popwarnerlittlescholars and Snapchat @popwarner1929.
Rival provides a first-of-its-kind, enterprise platform solution that empowers companies and organizations to leverage the popularity of gaming and esports to acquire new customers, drive engagement, build a loyal community around their brands and create new revenue streams. Through its proprietary technology, Rival connects the massive global appeal and audience of gaming and esports with sports teams, leagues, brands and media properties. With operations in two continents, Rival’s current partnership roster includes the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, Monumental Sports and Entertainment, NHL’s Arizona Coyotes, NBA’s Detroit Pistons, Aston Villa of the English Premier League, Watford of EFL Championship, as well as organizations including the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). For media inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org | www.gorival.com.