North American esports organisation Pittsburgh Knights has confirmed that it has received investment from NFL team Pittsburgh Steelers.
Having been formed in 2017, the Pittsburgh Knights currently compete in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Call of Duty, Fortnite, SMITE, Super Smash Bros., GWENT, and Hearthstone.
Financial details for the investment remain undisclosed, however the announcement explains that the Pittsburgh Steelers will “be supporting [Pittsburgh Knights] as much as possible” by utilising its “seasoned experience and unique skill sets”.
Despite having Pittsburgh in its name and now having the Steelers involved, the organisation was recently on the receiving end of a direct invite to compete in the PUBG Europe League – one of six regional pro leagues for the Battle Royale title – from January 2019.
This isn’t the first time an esports organisation receiving investment from traditional sports teams. NBA side Miami Heat invested in Misfits in January 2017 and Dignitas was invested in by Philadelphia 76ers in the latter half of 2016.
Though slightly different in nature, a number of Overwatch League franchises are also under ownership by figures with direct ties to entities in traditional sports – such as the likes of the Kraft Group and Kroenke Sports.