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Chris Chaney: One Letter of Resignation From The NBA Away From Becoming An Entrepreneur

Chris Chaney is the founder and managing partner at C4+ and the Co-founder and partner at Lunar Storm Capital, prominent venture capital and private equity firms in Dallas, TX.

Chris is an award-winning serial entrepreneur (Forbes 30 Under 30, among others) and startup mentor with a 15-year leadership track record of success in global sports, esports and entertainment. A native of Germany, he is an angel investor and start-up advisor to more than 30 companies across esports, gaming, consumer, entertainment and more.

Chris started his career at the NBA and later founded the Ivy Sports Symposium, a widely-recognized non-profit organization that promoted the development of young leaders in the global sports industry. Most recently, he was the founder of Infinite Esports & Entertainment (OpTic Gaming/Houston Outlaws), which was acquired by Immortals Gaming Club (IGC). Chris proudly serves on the board of Rise Above The Disorder, a non-profit organization dedicated to making mental health care accessible to everyone. Currently, he is the founder and C4+, an esports, gaming, sports and entertainment holdings and investment company, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University.

Takeaways

  1. If you feel drawn to a certain path, accept that pull rather than repressing it. (It’ll just show up later.)
  2. When you really want to work at a certain company, don’t take no for an answer.
  3. Resiliency is a skill that can be practiced.

Transcript

Bryan Wish: [00:00:01] Chris, welcome to The One Way Show.

Chris Chaney: [00:00:04] Hey, Bryan, thanks for having me.

Bryan Wish: [00:00:06] Yeah, it’s great to have you. It’s been fun to build a relationship the past year and excited to hear about your one away moment today. So what is it, Chris? I know when we were talking beforehand, you seemed like I have a lot of weight behind it, but not sure where you’re going to share. So I’m excited.

Chris Chaney: [00:00:24] Yeah, well, a special moment for me was when I just graduated from college eight months prior and I was at my first job, which was supposed to be my dream job working in New York City, midtown Manhattan at the National Basketball Association. And I told my boss that I was leaving, that I was quitting. And the way that fell off my shoulders in that moment and just how liberating it felt that I told her, “I’m out, I’m done. I’m doing my own thing.”

It was really special. I mean, I know, again, young college kid, first job. I thought this was it, you know, I landed in the perfect position and quote-unquote was on top of the world. You know, here I realized a few months into it that you know, it just wasn’t there. So I told her, I’m leaving, I’m out. That really shaped me, I think, for many years to come, that moment, and what for me was a really, really tough, but right decision for me. And it was so hard to make it until I actually did make it. Yeah, that was, that was a lot. 

Bryan Wish: [00:02:18] I know. So this is about you. I want to make this about your story in the moment though. You know, I was supposed to work in sports business after college. I worked all throughout college, a job in New York at a big agency Ivory Tower and I accepted, I accepted the job and right before I was supposed to go to New York, I called the guy and I said, I’m not pursuing my own thing. So I remember that the feeling it was a momentous weight off the shoulders when I just said I’m going for it. So I’m connecting with you on that. Thank you. Very hard to do. And you were young. I’m curious, Chris, you made that decision and. Were you always entrepreneurial in some ways or did you just feel so wrong that you knew that you had to go a different direction?

Chris Chaney: [00:03:16] Yeah, I think I it was almost, you know, when I graduated, it was almost like I was repressing my entrepreneurial spirit by getting a job because it felt like, well, that’s the thing you do after college. You get a job. Right. And I think if I had maybe reflected more or looked a little more inward, I would have realized that even without a specific idea or concept company and mind entrepreneurship was the path that I should take. But I just thought, well, you know, I have this great opportunity. I should be getting you know, should be getting a quote-unquote real job. And so you know, I’ve always had sort of this this this entrepreneurial streak starting things.

So I actually did create a company in college and apparel brand, a basketball lifestyle apparel brand didn’t go anywhere. That was freshman sophomore year. But it was a great experience. I even won some money, some startup capital and a business plan contest on campus. I did various events and different activities that were very entrepreneurial. But for some reason, I just didn’t, and maybe in some ways I just didn’t know, you know, that there was this path that I could take this path of entrepreneurship and not until having a quote-unquote, real job and seeing what that’s like and how it felt very limiting to me.

And just not and not not the opportunity that I saw for myself. That’s when I realized, wow, entrepreneurship, that that is actually who I am. It was there all along, but you don’t see it until you don’t have it or you don’t you know, you’re it’s somehow being, you know, being shielded away from you to know. Well that’s where I need to be.

Bryan Wish: [00:05:28] Right. I completely agree. I love what you said about looking more inward and knowing that was the path for you all along. My question is what enabled maybe that intuition to open up and become so clear, I mean, you were only there eight months. Was there a specific moment like being up at night early and bad and just not being able to sleep because it was so overwhelming? I mean, what allowed for you to really see it? Because some people spend three or four or five years miserable and you acted on it fairly quickly.

Chris Chaney: [00:06:06] Yeah. So, I mean, I think you hit it right on the nail, feeling miserable or being miserable. I really didn’t like and that’s no you know, that’s no knock on the door. The company that I was working for or my team for me it wasn’t the right fit. And so you know, I woke up every morning not wanting to go to the office, not being motivated to go to the office and then the commute to work and the walk to work. It just didn’t feel like it was me.

And I’ve I think I’ve always been very action or solutions-oriented where if I’m a particular in a particular situation that I look for a way, especially if it’s not a good situation. I look for a solution, you know, OK, here’s a problem. How do I solve it? And I just couldn’t you know, after a while, I just had to tell myself, this situation is not good. I need to solve it. It’s a problem. I need to solve it.

And the solution is I need to leave. I didn’t have a business plan. There is no, you know, grand concept, you know, billion dollar opportunity I was pursuing. I just knew I couldn’t do this right. I couldn’t do this job that really wasn’t meant for me. But it just, you know, really came to a head where I do recognize for some people that process takes a really long time to make that final call, to make that decision. And for some, it never happens. For me, at one point I just knew I said, like, I just can’t keep doing this. There’s just no way. This is it. It just has to be it.

Bryan Wish: [00:08:05] Yep. Yep. I applaud you for doing that. And I just I think the body really it can tell you and like it was looking at you, you felt there and you lost and then you chose to listen to it before it got worse. And so thing for those listening to a lot of young, ambitious entrepreneurial types who listen to this, I think there’s a lot of important lessons in what you just shared.

Chris Chaney: [00:08:27] And, you know, one more note on that, Bryan. You know, in hindsight and even today, I feel you can always get a quote-unquote, real job. You can always do that. I mean, there’s, you know, corporate world’s big lots of companies, you know, recession or, you know, so, you know, economic upheaval aside, you can always get a job. But if you really want to pursue something for yourself, there’s no better moment than to do it.

Now, you know, of course, everyone has their own unique personal financial family, etcetera, circumstances. But if you really want to build something for yourself, build it now. The corporate world will always be there. The companies come and go, but the corporate jobs, the real quote-unquote, real jobs, they’re always out there, you know? And so you can always, in my mind, come back to that.

Bryan Wish: [00:09:24] Absolutely. Yeah. I think it’s brilliant. There will always be corporate jobs out there to fill and or you can create your own jobs for others to fill in. Chris, speaking of that, you know, the time was now back then for you. You left. What were your next steps? I mean, what did you end up doing?

Chris Chaney: [00:09:47] Next step was a one just feeling super relieved and then I think just diving into some projects that I saw that had come to me or that I thought I could get could work on create, I just really didn’t. You know, I didn’t there was there’s no pause. There’s no you know, let’s sit back and plan for the next few months. It was just how can I dive into something right away from the get go the next day, basically. You know, maybe I should have done some more planning because everything had been very organic. So I sometimes I wonder whether some planning would have been helpful. And my my conclusion is probably so. But my personality is I want to do things, you know, I want to build things. So I said I’m well, I didn’t even say anything.

I just didn’t it jumped headfirst into a few projects, none of which worked out actually. They were all pretty much failures, but lots of failures. Lots of learning. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don’t know if it felt in the moment it felt like that because you’re disappointed that something’s not happening and something’s falling through. But I’m also a person who just from a personality perspective, I can work on something for a year straight, realize it doesn’t work, move it aside and not think about it. Not, you know, some people they get really hung up on while I worked on something for a year and it didn’t happen. And I lost all this time and maybe money and like, I feel like a failure for me.

That isn’t the case. I just I’m very I can very purposefully push things aside and focus on the next thing. Even if what I pushed aside was a year’s worth of effort or so, I’m very comfortable with just pushing it aside and moving on and not beating myself up, not getting hung up too much on this perceived failure of a project, because I look at it as did I do everything I could to put me and this project and the best chance of, you know, put our us into the best chance to succeed, give ourselves the best chance to succeed.

And if that answer is yes, I’m good. If it fails, I’m good. If it succeeds, I’m good. But I know that I did everything and I’ve had a bunch of projects like this where I spent a lot of time, a lot of effort. I felt like we were so close and they didn’t happen. But I would do it all over again because I believed in it. I put everything into it. It failed. Let’s move on. 

Bryan Wish: [00:13:08] Love that. Something that, you know, I think two things that came out of what you just said, I think a level of resilience and also maybe a level of compartmentalization to be able to move on from one thing to the next. If I could maybe build on a dive deep, if there’s anything here, were you how are you raised as a kid or did you have any experiences growing up that may be shaped to you where, you know, allow you to be more adaptable? You know, right after college, as you were in a more experimentation mode and finding what was more soulful and aligned?

Chris Chaney: [00:13:46] Well, I, I think I saw one. You know, I didn’t grow up in the U.S. I grew up in Germany. My first time living in the U.S. was for college. I never lived in the U.S. I’d never spoken English every day except in school learning it because it’s not my first language. So I came to the U.S. as a German kid and with, you know, the German accent, I’m just kind of, you know, finding my way. My entire family was in Germany, so they kind of dropped me off here in New Jersey and they flew back to Germany. And, you know, here I was at you know, at a school that, you know, demanded a lot and that a lot of smart kids and kids from all over the world. So you just I don’t know, I just got thrown into that. T

hat unknown culture and environment that I was not used to, I think just helped me also find my strengths and where and how I can excel. And it is partly that compartmentalizing that resilience, you know, being methodical, I feel like a lot. I own a lot of those skills or traits perhaps in college. I also just credit that.

That’s maybe how I’m hard-wired. I’m not even sure if I think there are some things that you just are you just are a certain way and then it’s up to you to maybe fine-tune or hone in on those innate traits. And for some people, that might be resilient for resilience, sorry. For some people that might be creativity. For some people that might be, you know, I don’t know, analytical thinking or, you know, they’re very analytically minded. But you have to nourish that. And so I feel like both in college and even in high school, you know, I was in the right environment that allowed me to Norrish.

What I think I already had in terms of this, you know, resilience and this very much this solution’s action oriented mindset and a certain relentlessness, because, you know, you always I don’t know. I mean, I think when I was applying for colleges, you know, German, small, German high school, and I don’t think anyone from my school ever went to a U.S. college. And I think I was the first one ever to go to a U.S. college. And so, of course, I had, you know, some kids that say, oh, you’re applying to all these schools and you’re not going to get in and you’re not going to get accepted and. Just who I am, I shrugged that off and I just stay focused, right? That’s the resilience of me. So things kind of get thrown at me and undeterred, just keep focused, keep pushing.

And so I think that was, you know, just again, I had these windows of opportunity throughout my life where I was fine tuning and owning in on what I already had and maybe and other people, they would have gone the complete opposite route where they would have said, oh, man, maybe I shouldn’t apply, maybe I should, you know, stay here and do something close by. But for me, the reaction was, no, I’m doubling down on this. I’m doing this because I believe in it.

So I think in part, just being that to me is innate. There were opportunities or moments along the way that that that pushed me to become more resilient, become more determined, really focused on solutions oriented. And then yeah, just college was this great blossoming experience and had had a really great time.

Bryan Wish: [00:18:17] So cool, Chris, I did not know that I maybe you told me a year ago, but I know that you grew up in Germany and you push past all the brashest to get to the US and kind of set the path forward for you, which is unbelievable. I mean, I know from what I understand in a broad country, countries coming to top two in the US is a dream. And you made it happen because you were resilient and could push past the noise and stay focused. So no surprises there, but also a very cool story indeed.

I’d like to you know, Chris, with that transition kind of segue to, you know, the part that you have chosen of entrepreneurship. I mean, I know after college, you know, you were in experimentation mode, maybe a few projects that did not work out. And there were probably blessings in disguise. But when did you start? My question for you is, when do you start maybe seizing momentum or seeing some things come out, come aligned in a way where you knew that you’re on the right track?

Chris Chaney: [00:19:30] Hmm. I’m so, so, so early on when I left my, you know, very comfortable job entry level job, I, I, you know, like you said, I was working on these projects and they were a little bit scattered and weren’t really all that good. But while working on these projects, what I saw was I’m interested in issues. I’m interested in these niche opportunities that maybe not everyone is looking at. Back then, I was too young, not experienced enough, didn’t quite have the right connectivity, you know, the right relationships and the ability to make things happen.

[00:20:17] But but later on that focus on Nicias and now my work in sports and gaming, it’s really come full circle. But I noticed that. As soon as I left my job, I know I was working on this project and I started to think because I was working on them and as you know, the first couple of years of failed entrepreneurship went by, that that that there’s an opportunity for me to build things and work on opportunities and project in these almost obscure areas. And that ultimately brought me to working on, you know, the two biggest deals of my career in niche areas of the sports industry where, you know, other people weren’t looking or weren’t looking yet and where even I, as a younger guy and aspiring entrepreneur, could carve out something for myself and finally successfully work on work on some project.

So that was the thing that I that to me was my lightning in a bottle, recognizing that I thrive in that, that I have a unique ability to identify Nicias and niche opportunities before other people do. I was looking at these different companies of potential projects and I was you know, I was reaching out to people and looking for a for for for for projects to work on. And as those people you know, there’s one company I reached out to because I thought this company could be the perfect company to raise capital for because I thought I know some investors and sort of I’m not like I was a finance guy. It wasn’t really my world.

But I thought this company is really onto something. I just see it, you know, following their soul shows. I’m looking at the product. This company is poised to reach out to the CEO, chased him, chased him, chased him, chased him. And I think once or twice got a response. Nothing ever came out of it. A few months later, they announced a massive investment, huge investment. And I just knew, OK, I was really on to something here. You know, maybe I was a couple weeks too late or just didn’t have the right, you know, name recognition.

But I was really on to something here because this is a big deal. I can guarantee you, not many other people saw it. That was this was this is this aha moment for me of just I think I really get it, you know, I really get these niche opportunities that other people don’t see or don’t see yet. And that’s been the common thread throughout my entire career. It’s been all about Nicias.

Bryan Wish: [00:23:35] Super cool. I’d love to do two things. One, if you can share. I’d be curious what the company was that you identified. And then two, do you have as you said, it’s been the common thread throughout your career. Do you have a common set of criteria you’re looking for? How do you know where to put your line in the water to find a niche? I’m just curious about if tomorrow I said go find the niche. What would you do next?

Chris Chaney: [00:24:09] Hunting and fishing now. I’m sure that is actually an interesting merging. So but it’s obvious he’s already quite big. So this company specifically was a sports nutritional supplements brand. I think I started seeing it in stores or it was working out at the time. I was using, you know, different like pre-workout, you know, protein shakes stuff, what have you. And and and I and I came across this brand and I thought, OK, this this brand, it looks good. I like the product. Let me look at where they’re from. You know, check out their website.

And it just clicked. I said, this company is poised for big things. There were small brands at the time and I thought these guys are really on to something. It was it was partly a gut feeling for sure across the board. For me, this just now has to resonate. There’s like this gut sense that I have and it has to resonate. And then also just looking at again, looking at, you know, social media having in that particular case tried one or two of their sports supplement products, which are now available everywhere. You can imagine the company is huge. You can there’s not a store where you cannot buy their products. That’s how it’s there.

Bryan Wish: [00:25:44] What’s the name of it?

Chris Chaney: [00:25:46] And so they’ve changed names once or twice. I think now they’re going under. So when I first discovered them, they were called would bolt like the bolt bot, would bolt international, would bolt distribution. And then I think they became Neutra bolt. And their most well-known brand is CIFOR Sellew Ucore.

Bryan Wish: [00:26:14] I know CIFOR.

Chris Chaney: [00:26:15] Yeah. So it’s like I mean CIFOR is like the pre workout. It’s probably the most well known pre workout certainly in the U.S. far not. I was looking at these guys are, you know, again, from a complete outsider’s perspective and they had secured an investment in 2014, six years ago, way before they were as big as they are. I reached out, I think in in in late 2013 or so is when I reached out to them. Then several months later, they announced this huge deal with a massive private equity firm.

And I just knew that, you know, OK, well, I’m really I really get it. I’m not like that in a boastful manner or anything, but just this gut feeling and then just looking around a little bit. And so this was one where I think if I had been where I am today, both in terms of experience and relationships, that’s an opportunity I think I could have potentially worked on a project, could have potentially been in, you know, sort of involved in potentially.

But of course, back then, I just again, that was those were the early days. But I mixed martial arts is another one I saw early, prior to the rise of the UFC before it became this multibillion dollar juggernaut. So I saw Emma that was on the personal side a little bit as well. I was dabbling in MMR a bit just for fun with a friend from back home. And I got even more interested. I was interested as a sort of casual fan, and then I dabbled in it a bit personally.

And I felt like, OK, this just a sport is really making waves. So I was working in the space, in the M.A space. And then and then I was also very. Early in the obstacle course racing space, which was this, you know, when the whole Crosthwaite movement and these fun races or themed races, an obstacle course races, they all kind of collided around a similar time. So that’s also an opportunity that I saw quite early. 

Bryan Wish: [00:28:58] When you said you were very early. Right. I think there’s a theme here around sports as well when you see your early. I mean, were you. Creating opportunities and deals and things in the spaces at the time, I mean, can you get them?

Chris Chaney: [00:29:14] Yes, so so in mixed martial arts, I actually ended up working with a brand and help them raise capital with a consumer brand and mixed martial arts. So they were doing gloves and fight shorts and head gear and, you know, all the related performance, apparel and technical equipment in the space. And then in the obstacle course, during the sorry obstacle course racing space, I was one helping an investor that was investing in one of the leading events companies.

The space is Spartan race. Still, you know, last man standing today after many years now and helping their investor at the time with a bit of due diligence and then also working with Spartan race and helping them think through some sponsorship opportunities at the time. Again, this was six, seven, eight years or so ago. And this was prior, again, to this sport just absolutely exploding.

It’s obviously has had its difficulties over the years with companies like Tough Mudder going bankrupt. But Spartan race, the one that I had high hopes on, is still the strongest and still, you know, doing well. That was my work. Sponsorships and partnerships and investments and that sort of stuff. So whether it’s an obstacle course racing or mixed martial arts or sports supplements, it’s always been this like seeing, I guess, seeing both Nicias and entrepreneurs in those nations that I felt were poised to do great things. So not just, I guess, the Nicias themselves, but also the entrepreneurs that were building companies within them. And I’ve been very fortunate to come across and work with many incredible fellow entrepreneurs. 

Bryan Wish: [00:31:37] So it’s a bit of a knack and I for talent development as well of what someone at the helm can lead and create, along with really knowing the space and getting the feel for it with, you know, the quantitative metrics as well. Chris, I think it’s really interesting how you have been at the front line. I’m curious as to what you see as next in the sports arena. But I know that, you know, to kind of dive into, I think, a topic around EA Sports, which you’ve also been, I think, very much on the front lines of before it’s blown up. How do you identify eSports is maybe the next frontier and. What do you see as opportunities within? I mean, it’s expansive beyond measure. I’m just curious how you’re looking at it and what led you to it based on the conversation around Nicias in sports?

Chris Chaney: [00:32:31] Yeah, it’s one of those another one of those just, you know, random conversations I was doing a weekly LinkedIn posts at the time and just, you know, stumbling across interesting articles. And I saw a couple that were mentioning EA Sports. EA Sports in the context of China was already a topic back then. This was two thousand and fifteen maybe. Yeah, I think it was about twenty fifteen. So now already, I don’t know, half a decade ago, which in this space is a very long time. And so I ended up connecting with someone who works for one of the major video game publishers called Riot Games. I didn’t know really anything about or much at all about eSports and the games and the space.

And he gave me a little bit of a crash course. This, you know, on this Friday, late afternoon call. And, you know, heading into the weekend, it probably was my last call that day. And so just like it, you know, like in a very spongy mindset, just, you know, it’s just soaking it all up that he was sharing. I was just floored, really and amazed. I left the conversation both smiling and deeply thoughtful, smiling because I felt like I discovered this really amazing, beautiful space. And it was, in a way, almost pristine and then thoughtful because I felt I was thinking, wow, there was opportunity here, opportunity to build something.

In that case, it was, you know, randomly coming across some articles and then having this one, you know, really this moment, this conversation that set me on this journey to die very, very deeply into the industry over the last five, five or so years. It was all there, you just had to open your eyes. It was all there in my mind. The numbers were there. The excitement was there. It was kind of underground, quote unquote, underground. And it was all there. You just had to see it open your eyes and see it, you know, which I did. You know, EA Sports is this.

Now, it’s a really it’s a large industry, much larger than I mean, now a lot of people have come across it and the curtain has been lifted out of the industry and also gaming broadly, which which which sort of is in Gulf Shores is around EA Sports. EA Sports is a part of gaming broadly. And it’s definitely a key part of the future of entertainment. It already is. I think it’s already in part the presence of entertainment. It’s already very global. I think we sometimes maybe think it’s I you know, it’s sort of isolated in specific regions or countries. It’s that’s actually truly global as an industry. Of course, the Internet helps in that regard, Internet and technology and creating this, you know, global eSports ecosystem across many different games.

In some ways, it’s you know, it’s akin to traditional sports in the sense that we have a lot of different games which we have in sports as well. We have soccer and basketball and baseball and football and hockey and so forth. And in any sports, we have the same. And just like in traditional sports, each sport has its own ecosystem. You know, just like each game has its own ecosystem. Some are more popular in other countries, in certain countries and regions. And some are bigger. Some are smaller.

You know, hockey is smaller than American football, for example, or soccer. And this soccer is the biggest of them all. There are some similarities there. We’re just now seeing Danzy and then I guess Gen Alpha I think comes below that as far as really taking to gaming. And within that I think the EA Sports even more in some cases than they do to traditional sports. You know, gaming has really become this phenomenal entertainment and social activity, very important that it’s a social activity. It’s not just doing this. Gaming is one of I’d say one of the most social things that you can do. You build friendships, you develop to the circle, you communicate with people. You learn a lot of things like teamwork and other stuff.

Then within that, we have sports as the highest, this pinnacle, this just this competitive side of the gaming industry. And people love to compete. Simply put, people love to compete. You know, whether it’s a marble races or hot dog eating, people love to compete. They love to compete at video games. I’ve always loved to compete at video games, whether it’s in an arcade or on your smartphone. People love to compete. And we’re just I think at the very end, we’re still in the early stages of seeing this industry truly flourish. I think to be a part of just like everything that we’re seeing on the entertainment and the content side.

Bryan Wish: [00:38:51] I think it’s fascinating how you heard about how that conversation. Well, we’re still interested, but then also saw the opportunity and then sounds like you just submerged headfirst into it. And you can just tell by the passion in your voice, the way you’re speaking about it, how vested you are in it and what it does. It’s just the human level of relationships and teamwork and bonding and communicating and the competitive drive of the human spirit. Chris, with that. What is your role within EA Sports? What is your role with any sports today and how do you see the industry evolving?

Chris Chaney: [00:39:38] So I wear three hats. I advise early stage startups, which really means lots of founder mentoring. So I mentor, precede and seed stage startups within sports and gaming. It’s really built around relationships with the founders, and helping them on their journeys, and hopefully making a small contribution to their success too. I invest personally into startups as well. So the first is I invest my time.

The second is I invest my capital. So both of our investments just a different form. So I invest capital also into early stage startups with any sports and gaming. And then I also I co-founded companies in the space. So I’m, you know, for example, right now working cofounding and EA Sports Betting platform, EA Sports Betting Hub, information content analysis hub, also cofounding and EdTech gaming startup. That’s about facilitating kids learning math through gaming.

And you know, we know the shortage of qualified people for STEM jobs and how much that’s going to be a problem in the next 10, 20 years. You have to start early and make a small contribution in that regard. So those are the three hats that I wear. So I advise early stage companies. I invest in early stage companies and then I cofound companies within EA Sports and gaming. In terms of where I see this industry going: one, I think more mainstream acceptance. We are in the early to mid stages of that. It’s exciting for me to see eSports receive as much attention as it has and gaming broadly as well. Right.

Gaming is this massive industry that’s approaching 200 billion and, you know, three billion or two point seven billion gamers around the world. Then a fraction of our small part of that is eSports. Mainstream acceptance is, I think, really important. And that goes deep into my parents schools at all levels. The business that the job world where, you know, it’s become accepted to be a gamer, that’s something you can aspire to. Parents aren’t, you know, sort of holding their kids back.

But in the same way that they’re allowing them to play basketball, they’re allowing them to play League of Legends, for example, if that’s something that they aspire to or even be a streamer, for that matter, knowing, of course, that the chances of turning pro are small. But there’s lots of lessons and lots of value that you pick up along the way without just focus focusing on a professional career path.

So mainstream acceptance, I think the industry will flourish massively in the next ten or so years, become neck and neck with traditional sports, sort of this bucket of EA Sports and this bucket of traditional sports. I think they’ll be neck and neck over the next decade plus two decades in terms of size, in terms of meaning to this in the social fabric. You know, sports has this really important position within society. It brings people together. In some cases, it holds people together.

And I think EA Sports can serve that function as well in the years to come of bringing people together and holding people together through this, you know, competitive gaming environment. I think we’re going to see a little bit of a ready player, one future where we’re going to see some interesting virtual reality, immersive games, both as participants and as spectators, which I’m pretty excited about. But just generally, I’m a big believer that this industry will flourish significantly so and that that we will accept as a key part of the entertainment, of competition and part of the fabric of society room,

Bryan Wish: [00:44:36] Really big stuff, Chris, and I love watching you talk about it, because I think you see the potential clearly, not just for the business side of it, but I think the human side of what sports can bring to the social fabric of the world, not just football in the United States or soccer in Europe, but the entire social fabric of the world.

There are connective Internet. I’m thrilled. I’m excited to watch you kind of experiment build within the niches of sports and what’s to follow. And thanks for sharing all your lessons, insights and stories with us. I cannot wait to share with our audience, and I’m sure, you know, I’ll help a lot of them and be fun to hear what your audience thinks as well.

Chris Chaney: [00:45:22] Thank you so much for having me, Bryan. This is fun. Thank you.

Bryan Wish: [00:45:25] Yeah, absolutely. And last thing, Chris, if people wanted to reach out for you, find you, where would they go? 

Chris Chaney: [00:45:31] LinkedIn as best Chris Chaney on LinkedIn, I think linkedin.com/in/chrischaney. Yeah. Find me on there.

Bryan Wish: [00:45:40] Right. Sounds good. Thanks, Chris. Thanks for being here.

Chris Chaney: [00:45:43] Thank you.

One Away Podcast
Bryan Wish

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