Beasley Media Group is using its esports initiative to build a presence on college campuses and attract students to its competitive gaming content. The broadcaster’s Beasley XP esports division has unveiled Checkpoint XP On Campus, a college-based collaboration with the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV).
Under the new initiative, UNLV’s JMS will serve as the main content creation and production hub for a brand extension of Beasley gaming lifestyle show “Checkpoint XP” targeting college students. Plans include a college-agnostic esports weekly video and podcast show, along with online content featured under a new Checkpoint XP On Campus section on CheckpointXP.com.
The weekly video and podcast launches Thursday, Sept. 12 at 10pm Eastern on Radio.com, Twitch and YouTube and via a podcast on Beasley’s bPod Studios. The program will be hosted by Norris Howard, who anchors the “Checkpoint XP” show, along with two UNLV student anchors: Daniel Agbuya and Jacob Brothers, with Kevin Kelly serving as the Managing Editor.
In addition, UNLV’s JMS will work closely with Checkpoint XP to recruit student correspondents from 30 of the country’s top journalism and esports colleges to provide additional coverage on the growing esports scene across many of the nation’s college campuses.
The official announcement was made on the UNLV campus, Monday, Sept. 9 on the eve of the 2019 Esports Business Summit.
It’s the latest move by Beasley into the fast-growing competitive video gaming space. In October 2018, the company launched Beasley XP with the purchase of the internationally syndicated esports show, “Checkpoint Radio.” In April, Beasley acquired a minority stake in esports organization the Detroit Renegades. In July, the radio group built the “Beasley XP Studio” in Detroit to serve as the headquarters for “Checkpoint XP,” the re-christened gaming lifestyle show.
“The convergence of sports and entertainment has never been more real than with the esports academic curriculums, sports teams and arenas that are changing the face of campuses across the country,” Beasley Chief Digital Content Officer Lori Burgess said in the announcement. “Checkpoint XP On Campus intends to capture this lifestyle-based competitive sport as it continues to gain popularity and become a more serious part of the university experience.”
The world of competitive video gaming has become a fast-growing international phenomenon with millions of fans. According to a report from Newzoo, a market analytics company, 380 million people worldwide will watch esports this year.
“This innovative partnership with a collaborator the caliber of Beasley Media Group presents unprecedented opportunities for our students and this institution,” said Kevin Stoker, Director of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at UNLV. “This project provides a place for those with a passion for the space to gain recognition on a national scale.” Stoker went on to say that the partnership crosses every discipline offered at Greenspun, from journalism to broadcasting, integrated marketing communications, and digital media. “We’re looking forward to the future and where this convergence of interests and resources can lead over the next several years,” he added.