Courting investment

San Antonio’s NBA team is spurring on an Austin gaming startup

San Antonio’s NBA team is spurring on an Austin gaming startup

Spurs and Tribe Gaming
The Austin gaming biz is netting some cash from the owner of the San Antonio Spurs. NBA

San Antonio-based Spurs Sports & Entertainment, owner of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, has bounced into the arena of investors in Austin mobile gaming startup Tribe Gaming.

Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E) joined Tribe Gaming’s investor group by pumping an undisclosed amount of money into the company.

Founded in 2017, Tribe Gaming is a mobile gaming esports startup with more than 25 million subscribers worldwide. Tribe features 18 of the top creators of mobile gaming content and seven championship-level esports teams.

Joe Donnelly, associate vice president of corporate development at SS&E, says in a July news release that Tribe and its founder Patrick “Chief Pat” Carney “are visionaries in gaming and esports.”

“Through their innovative approach, unique culture, and strategic leadership, they have transformed the mobile gaming lifestyle into a thriving business with a global fanbase,” Donnelly says.

SS&E says the Tribe partnership opens the door to content collaborations, co-branded marketing efforts, and other initiatives.

“Bringing SS&E into the Tribe Gaming family is a massive milestone for our company,” Carney says. “With SS&E having achieved decades of unparalleled success in the traditional sports world, we’re excited to leverage this partnership towards building the leading mobile gaming esports organization.”

SS&E owns and operates the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Spurs basketball teams and the San Antonio FC soccer team, and manages the AT&T Center.

Aside from SS&E, investors in Tribe include Charlotte Hornets player Gordon Hayward, mobile gaming veteran Kristian Segerstrale, and WWE wrestler Claudio “Cesaro” Castagnoli. Last year, the startup raised a little over $1 million in venture capital.