NBA 2K League, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) esports venture, has named Andrew Perlmutter as its first chief executive a day after announcing Brendan Donohue will step down as league president.
Under the new role, Perlmutter will oversee the league’s business and competition operations, as well as its global expansion, corporate partnerships, media and content distribution, community engagement, and grassroots development.
He will report to a newly created board of directors that includes representatives from the NBA, Take-Two Interactive, and 2K Games, including NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
The league is a joint-venture partnership between the NBA and video-game company Take-Two Interactive, which makes the NBA 2K series of licensed basketball games that the esports league uses.
Perlmutter said: “The NBA 2K League is a leader in the esports industry and has many new opportunities for growth given the enormous interest in the NBA 2K franchise.
“I am excited to bring my experiences expanding entertainment and technology companies to this new role.”
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He joins the league after co-founding Backbeat Capital Partners, a firm that specializes in entertainment IP acquisitions between $50 million to $500 million.
Before that, Perlmutter served as chief strategy officer at IT services provider ITRenew Inc where he led all revenue-generating teams and the company’s $1 billion sale to information storage service firm Iron Mountain.
He also held the positions of general manager and vice president of operations for Newsweek and The Daily Beast.
Phil Dixon, chief operating officer of 2K Games, said: “The NBA 2K League’s success is built on the engaged community of viewers, players, and teams who all share a common passion for NBA 2K.
“Andrew’s experience in leading revenue growth and his seasoned business instincts will be an exciting asset as we continue to grow and expand the league.”
The announcement comes a day after the league announced that Donohue, who has been president since its inception in 2017, will step down as president on October 31.
Donohue has overseen the league as it has grown from 17 teams to 25, 22 of which are NBA affiliates, and secured international franchises in both Australia and neighboring Mexico.
Most recently, the NBA 2K League announced a significant partnership with the National Basketball Players Association for the promotion of the esports competition.
The agreement will allow NBA players to work to promote the esports league, appearing at 2K league promotional events and on 2K league broadcasts.
In June, the NBA 2K league partnered with FIBA, the international basketball governing body, in a deal that will see the creation of a global esports calendar across national team basketball.
This partnership will further the collaboration between the NBA 2K League and eFIBA, the esports venture for FIBA basketball, by allowing eFIBA players to participate in the NBA 2K draft, or the league itself.