A magazine for NEUMANN UNIVERSITY alumni, family, and friends

Accent, Winter 2024, Volume 52, No. 2 - View past issues

View PDF version

Back to magazine home

New esports Major Coming this Fall

The speed at which esports has evolved would give Charles Darwin pause. In the course of just a few decades, Pac-Man (a time-filling distraction similar to solitaire) has morphed into League of Legends, Fortnite, Call of Duty, and other games with millions of avid fans.

According to Dr. Barry Person, Jr., “The esports arena is being recognized as an industry of its own. There are career opportunities now that may not have existed 10 or 15 years ago. It’s not just video games. The field involves sports facilities, content creation, professional leagues, and trends and analysis operations.”

Dr. Person is the School of Business professor who has been tasked with creating a major and minor in esports at Neumann. Both will be ready by the fall of 2024, he says.

Experts believe that the timing for a major (not just a certificate) is right. According to Statista, a global data and business intelligence platform, the 2023 worldwide esports market was expected to reach $3.8 billion in revenue with growth projections hitting $5.7 billion by 2028.

Fortune Business Insights has published similar revenue projections, noting that “The growing trend of live streaming of games, gaming investments, rising viewership, ticket sales, engagement activity, and demand for league tournament infrastructure are the factors influencing the esports market growth.”

Person, too, is bullish on the industry’s future. The money flow, he explains, comes from companies that want to advertise to a specific demographic, registration fees, high-level investors, and sponsorships opportunities through TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube TV.

“It’s a global network,” he says, “and that really helps generate interest. You can play with or watch people playing anywhere in the world. So much is still going to happen as the industry evolves.”

Neumann’s esports major will focus on the business aspects of the field: marketing, event management, sales, public relations, and profitability. “Just as our sport management major applies business skills to sports, we will apply those same skills to video gaming,” says Person. Degree requirements will allow students to intern within the esports industry as they actively learn how to market to a global audience, how to create content to get more followers on social media, how to organize competitive tournaments, and how to capitalize on entrepreneurial instincts in the field.

The new major will not include courses in programming or software development, and it will avoid what Person refers to as “first-person shooter” games to adhere to the university’s non-violent and peaceful Franciscan values.

Person comes to Neumann from SUNY Delhi, where he taught esports, opened a gaming lab, and helped to organize an intramural gaming community. He also has experience with special needs students, YMCA youth programming, and coaching college basketball. He is a certified life coach and motivational speaker.

He holds a PhD in Psychology from Capella University, an MS in Sport Management from Howard University, and a BS in Sport Management from Drexel University.

Dr. Barry Person, Jr. with a student in the esports lab.

ES 101: Introduction to Business of Esports
This introductory course acquaints students with the emergence and establishment of esports within the sport and recreation industry. The course also provides students with an overview of the settings and opportunities within the vast and diverse industry. Course content includes industry definition, league management, event management, marketing, career pathways, team management, and gaming exploration.

ES 220: Industry Topics and Trends Analysis
This investigative course will explore various current topics and trends with the esports industry. The course also provides students with a direct glimpse into the major subjects that current industry professionals are working to address. Course content will include league development, facility development, cultural awareness, global influence, industry economics, litigation rulings, and esports industry reach.

ES 350: Streaming and Influencer Content Creation
This advanced level course is designed to promote the creation and personal expression of esports digital material through media presentation. A particular focus will be given to both individual and collaborative creation of streaming and influencer content rooted in esports production. Course content will include esports commentary, social media platform production, personality management, influencer impact, global audience, and streaming quality.

ES 460: Esports Senior Seminar
Senior seminar is designed to grant students the opportunity to gain experiential knowledge through engagement with both the local and campus community through esports event programming. Specifically, the course aims to allow students to actively apply all relevant major course work as they engage with others in the community serving as the industry professional. Student efforts culminate at semester’s end through the production of two esports events held at Neumann.

Support the Challenge


Visit www.neumann.edu/challenge to learn more.