The Ninja has landed. Famed gaming and pop culture celebrity Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has joined Frisco-based GameSquare as its chief innovation officer—and he’ll be heading up a new incubator as part of the deal.
Toronto-based gaming and esports company GameSquare is majority-backed by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Crescent Realty founder John Goff of Fort Worth. Last August, GameSquare revealed plans to eventually move its HQ to The Star in Frisco.
Launching Ninja Labs incubator
As CIO, Blevins will tap his background as a content innovator to lead GameSquare’s pursuit of emerging growth opportunities. That includes the launch of Ninja Labs, a GameSquare incubator to ideate and develop first-of-its-kind concepts and products directly focused on connecting with youth culture.
“I want to build the next big thing in gaming, and I found that in GameSquare,” Blevins said in a statement. “[GameSquare CEO Justin Kenna] and the team have put together a world-class platform that will help me innovate and create engaging experiences to inspire the next generation of streamers and leave a lasting impact on the industry.”
“I’m looking forward to partnering with GameSquare creators, brands, agencies, players, and most importantly fans to pursue some exciting new projects with Ninja Labs,” Blevins added.
Curating ‘disruptive strategies’ and exploring ‘next-gen tech’
Blevins will utilize Ninja Labs to curate disruptive strategies, pursue new business opportunities, and explore next-gen technologies to accelerate the industry’s growth within pop culture, GameSquare said.
With the support of GameSquare’s merchandising, marketing, and content creation resources, Ninja Labs will serve as an innovation pipeline for the research and development of consumer products, original IP, and more, the company said.
The company’s partners also plan to leverage Ninja Labs for future collaborations to connect with young consumers.
Jerry Jones on Ninja’s ‘big, bold moves’
“Innovation and success often depend on big, bold moves. When it comes to gaming, Ninja is a reflection of that approach,” Jerry Jones said in a statement. “Ninja’s commitment to creativity and vision for Ninja Labs will directly support new revenue opportunities for GameSquare and impact their continued rise as one of the most successful gaming and entertainment organizations in the world. We’re thrilled to be part of it.”
GameSquare noted that Blevins is the latest addition to its roster of creators, including TimTheTatman, the Baka Bros, and Cloakzy, who are unlocking new ways to monetize content and reach fans.
GameSquare’s collective reach now spans 290M-plus followers
With the addition of Ninja, GameSquare’s collective reach spans over 290 million followers, the company said.
“Ninja is a once-in-a-generation talent whose reputation transcends gaming,” GameSquare CEO Justin Kenna said in a statement. “As gaming continues to converge with entertainment and pop culture, his ability to innovate and connect with multigenerational audiences around the world will be crucial as we usher in the next evolution of GameSquare and look to create something truly disruptive in the space.”
GameSquare said that Blevins comes aboard during a time of significant growth bookended by the company’s definitive merger agreement with Engine Gaming & Media, a data-driven gaming, media, and influencer marketing platform.
In December, GameSquare Esports Inc. announced it was merging with live streaming and marketing platform Engine Gaming and Media Inc. to create a juggernaut that reaches across esports, sports, influencer, publisher and advertising networks for brands to connect with younger audiences.
Blevins will be supported by GameSquare’s international portfolio of companies, including merchandise and consumer products business Mission Supply, content production and creative studio Fourth Frame Studios, and creative marketing agency ZONED Gaming.
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