Former basketball star and entrepreneur Tony Parker will be the ambassador for the third edition of the Game Shakers Awards during Esports BAR Cannes, the three-day conference hosted by Reed Midem, the organizer of MipTV, Mipcom and Midem.
Set to take place Feb. 11, 2020, the Game Shakers Awards is a competitive section bringing together individuals and companies that have an innovative approach to esports and are able to raise awareness of esports beyond the core audience. The initiative is organized by Rafe Productions in partnership with VentureBeat, GamesBeat, Twitch, ES1, Millenium, GINX Esports TV, Gamesindustry.biz and Jovem Pan Radio.
Parker, who played for the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, will succeed former Formula One star Jean Alesi as ambassador of the Game Shakers Awards. Parker will “emphasize the importance of the development of education and esports” during the ceremony in Cannes, Reed Midem said.
Earlier this year, Parker also launched the Tony Parker Adéquat Academy in Lyon, France, to help give young people educational and employment opportunities.
Popular on Variety
“In my professional life, my motivators have always been passion and determination. That’s what has driven the development of The Academy, enabling passionate young people to build their life’s dream with the promise of a job on graduation,” Parker said.
Parker was on hand in Paris on Wednesday to discuss his involvement in Game Shakers Awards and present the Tony Parker Adéquat Academy to journalists. He said he was passionate about esports because it’s a “constantly evolving world where young people can explore new things without being bound by limits.”
Parker said his academy would have 60 students on its first year, five of whom will focus on esports.
Esports BAR Cannes director Arnaud Verlhac said that the “core values of Tony’s Academy are completely aligned with those of Esports BAR and the Game Shakers Awards – recognizing passion, innovation, excellence and entrepreneurship in the esports world.”
Verlhac added that Parker “epitomizes so many elements that go towards success in esports thanks to his remarkable basketball career and, now, as an international business entrepreneur.”
Set to run Feb. 11-13, the Esports BAR Cannes has become a key event for leaders of esports organizations, brands, agencies and media.