Esports will be in the Olympics, and become the biggest sport in the world, Logitech CEO predicts



Maybe you should let your kids play more video games.

It’s “inevitable” that esports will eventually be in the Olympics, Logitech International Inc. LOGI, +0.61%   Chief Executive Bracken Darrell said Tuesday, as he predicted it will someday be the biggest sport in the world.

That bold prediction came in a CNBC interview with Jim Cramer of “Mad Money.”

Darrell said Swiss-based Logitech has already had talks with the International Olympic Committee about how and when esports could become a medal event.

“I think it’s inevitable. I think it will be part of the Olympics,” Darrell told CNBC. “I’ll make another prediction . . . I think it’ll be the biggest sport in the world.”

He’s not the only one bullish on esports. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian has predicted that gaming will become the biggest segment of media and entertainment, with $145 billion in annual sales by 2020.

Goldman Sachs analyst Christopher Merwin has said the global monthly audience for esports will reach 167 million this year. “By 2022, we estimate the esports audience will reach 276 million, similar in size to the NFL today,” he told MarketWatch in July.

Logitech is a major player in videogame hardware, producing high-end mice, headsets and specialized keyboards, and the esports boom is reflected in the company’s earnings. Last week, Logitech beat quarterly earnings expectations, with sales up 15% year over year, and raised its annual outlook. Growth from its Gaming and Video Collaboration units jumped 60%.

Recent Logitech acquisitions have been made with an eye on gaming. Last year, it bought headset maker Astro Gaming for about $85 million, and last month it purchased microphone maker Blue Microphones for about $117 million. Blue is best known for its podcasting microphones, but has started branching out to videogames.

Logitech shares are up 36% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s SPX, +0.06%  7% gain.

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