Carolina Panthers parent company launches high school esports and STEM league

Photo credit: Tepper Sports and Entertainment

Tepper Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the NFL franchise Carolina Panthers, has announced the launch of the CMS Varsity Esports & STEM League.

Tepper Sports & Entertainment, in partnership with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, is partnering with Stiegler EdTech and the Carolina Esports Hub to launch the project. The league is the first to start in the district and 12 high schools will participate in its inaugural season.

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Beginning November 2, schools will compete in online Rocket League games, culminating in playoffs and a championship finals at a later date. Information about a prize pool was not disclosed.

In addition to the Rocket League competition, high schools will compete in a variety of challenges across all STEM categories. The challenges will be shown alongside the eSports tournaments on the same Twitch channel and judged by a panel of “Industry Experts”.

This isn’t Tepper Sports and Entertainment’s first esports-focused initiative. The company has previously partnered with gaming furniture maker Zipchair Gaming in a deal that will see the Panthers logo appear on its line of gaming chairs.

The state of Carolina continues to invest in the esports industry. In January, high school esports consulting firm Esports Development and Growth Enterprise (EDGE) Consulting merged with the Carolina Esports Hub, and in November 2021, the Governor of North Carolina signed a $5M (~$4 £.3m) to fund events and productions The State.

In addition to the Panthers, Tepper Sports and Entertainment also owns MLS club Charlotte Football Club.

Carolina Panthers parent company launches high school esports and STEM leagueESI has partnered with META for Esports Revolution in Brussels. To learn more, click here.

Riley Fields, Director of Community Relations for the Carolina Panthers, said at the launch, “We are excited to be a part of this effort to expand esports and STEM opportunities for students at Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.

“Education and youth football are central focuses of our community efforts and the sport offers students many of the same opportunities for growth and development as traditional sports, by playing in a competitive team-building environment and emphasizing leadership, sportsmanship and communication. In addition, the development of science, technology, engineering, and math skills can open new and diverse pathways to higher education and employment.”

Jonno Nicholson

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Jonno is a freelance news writer for Esports Insider and has been part of the ESI team since 2019! His interests include the rapid rise of sim racing and its impact on the industry as a whole.

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