Engagement kicks off with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Tournament powered by Nerd Street Gamers
PHILADELPHIA, January 20, 2021– Nerd Street Gamers, the national esports infrastructure company, announced today a partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (Parks & Rec) to provide esports access to Philadelphia youth. The multi-phase engagement will aim to bring competitive esports experiences, including tournaments and after-school programming, to Parks & Rec participants through an ongoing partnership.
To kick off the partnership, on February 16, Nerd Street Gamers will power the first-ever Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Tournament Series, a six-week NBA 2K21 event exclusively for Parks & Rec participants. The tournament is for any Philadelphia resident age 13-18. Those who register will receive three free months of Nerd Street’s Nerd Street+ Digital subscription which acts as a gateway to esports for competitive and casual gaming experiences. Registration for the tournament will be capped at 256 participants. Recreation centers will serve as virtual host sites for tournament teams.
“As esports continues to become more popular amongst different demographics, it is more important than ever to provide access to gamers of all skill levels who might not be able to afford the quality equipment necessary to succeed in the industry,” said John Fazio, CEO of Nerd Street Gamers. “Our mission since inception has been to provide those opportunities by lowering the barrier to entry to esports, and this partnership with Parks & Rec is a key step to doing that on our home turf in the Philadelphia region.”
Philadelphia is making moves to become the East Coast’s hub for esports, as this announcement comes on the tails of other big citywide developments like Nerd Street’s new facility The Block. The partnership with Parks & Rec will continue growing the city as an esports hub by lowering the barrier to entry to esports across the city to new audiences who might not have had the access otherwise.
“We share a common goal with Nerd Street Gamers: Level the playing field for kids and families who deserve access to positive recreational opportunities, new technology, and booming industries,” said Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation.
“As we continue to think of new ways to engage young people from all walks of life, partnering with a company like Nerd Street Gamers who specializes in increasing access to esports for gamers of all ages and skill levels was a no-brainer. Parks & Rec is looking forward to entering the new recreational frontier of esports. This is the future of our work and will help us stay relevant to young people”
The partnership between Nerd Street Gamers and Philly Parks & Recreation will develop in three phases. Phase one will provide young people (13–18 years old) access to the Nerd Street+ Digital subscription for three months, and will coincide with an online tournament series for four titles: Rocket League, NBA 2K21, Madden 21, & Fifa 21.
The second phase, expected to launch later this year, will see esports incorporated into Parks & Recreation’s summer camp programming. From offering a speciality esports camp for 6–12-year-olds at Localhost to summer jobs for teens working as esports coaches, this phase of the partnership will expose young people to the advanced technology that could lead to a future in professional gaming or other STEAM/STEM-based industries.
Looking ahead to phase three of the partnership, Nerd Street will offer esports programming as part of Parks & Recreation’s after school offering. Young gamers (6- to 12-year-old) will have a chance to develop their skills, meet other gamers, make friends and practice critical thinking within the environment of esports, the program will be led by professional esports coaches. The second and third phase of the partnership are still in the developmental phase.
The esports industry saw exponential growth in 2020, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the advent of social distancing and stay-at-home orders; and it’s poised to continue that growth well into 2021 and beyond. Through this partnership, Nerd Street Gamers and Parks & Rec will bring esports to new audiences and continue to facilitate the industry’s growth through innovative experiences.
Philadelphia residents ages 13-18 can learn more about taking part in the first Philadelphia Parks and Recreation NBA2K Tournament Series here.
About Nerd Street Gamers
Nerd Street Gamers (NSG) is a national network of esports facilities and events dedicated to powering competitive opportunities for gamers. The company promotes greater access to the esports industry, laying a national framework for esports talent development and high-quality gaming tournaments. NSG has received backing from Five Below, Comcast, SeventySix Capital, Elevate Ventures, and angel investor George Miller.
About Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
PHILADELPHIA PARKS & RECREATION (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways, and management of 500 recreation buildings, 166 miles of trail, and 250 playgrounds. PPR offers safe, enjoyable recreation, environmental and cultural programs and events throughout Philadelphia’s parks and recreation system. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities.
In 2017, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, set about implementing the park system’s first strategic plan: Our Path to 2020 and Beyond. As a result, PPR is undertaking a period of historic change, setting the department on a course to become a modern, equitable and exceptional parks and recreation system. Visit us at www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Brownstein on behalf of Nerd Street Gamers
Alain Joinville at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation