Palm Beach Returning to its Gaming Roots

Palm Beach Returning to its Gaming Roots

By: Sara Warden

2 min read February 2020 — IBM developed the first PC in Boca Raton and now the city is making a new effort to bring back the gamers. In 2021, Misfits Gaming Group will consolidate its North American presence with a new, $1.35-million, 18,000-square-foot headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida.

 

The Misfits organization owns teams that compete in League of Legends, CounterStrike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Super Smash Bros. Founded in 2016, Forbes estimates the company’s value at $120 million and global esports revenues are estimated at $1.1 billion in 2019.

The Misfits Gaming Group will set up two Florida-based franchised esports teams, the Florida Mayhem and Florida Mutineers, through which it will run several large-scale esports events throughout the year, in addition to college tournaments and community events. These events can rake in millions, with eye-watering prize money. The winners of the Dota 2 esports tournament walked away with over $3 million each, as did the 2019 winners of the Fortnite World Cup. In comparison, the 2019 winners of Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep, took home $2.9 million each.

One of the reasons Misfits chose Boca Raton for its new HQ is the business-friendly environment Florida provides – not to mention the generous tax breaks provided by the authorities. Local and state authorities will provide over $200,000 in grants and tax refunds in exchange for creating 30 new jobs with average salaries of $95,000.

“[Misfits] falls within a targeted industry sector for not only our county efforts, but state efforts as well,” said Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Palm Beach County Business Development Board in an interview with Esport Observer. “Also, the fact that the jobs are high paid, much higher than the average of the county, which is $53,000.”

Florida is a surprisingly logical state in which to expand an esports empire. According to Enterprise Florida, the state has the nation’s third-largest tech industry and is a leader in high-tech employment, ranking No. 1 in the Southeast. Florida’s universities are one of the region’s largest producers of STEM graduates – in fact it is one of the largest generators of graduates entirely. And West Palm Beach has one of the highest concentrations of IT employees in the state.

The state is also a pioneer in connectivity, essential for any industry built around fast internet connections. The state has 61,000 total fiber miles, the third-most extensive statewide network in the United States. It also has 275 data center locations, the fourth-highest density among all U.S. states. 

Misfits certainly sees this potential in Florida, and in November launched a $10 million esports and gaming incubator and seed fund. “As the first esports and gaming-focused startup incubator and seed fund offering the resources of our caliber in North America, our goal is to create infrastructure for supporting and developing emerging business talent,” said Ben Spoont, CEO and Co-Founder of Misfits Gaming Group in a press release. “We want to help invest in the kind of ideas that will move our industry forward.”

To learn more, visit:

https://misfitsgaming.gg/ 

https://www.ibm.com/

https://www.bdb.org/

https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/competitive/en-US/events/world-cup

Fort Lauderdale Doing Wellness Well

Fort Lauderdale Doing Wellness Well

By: Sara Warden

2 min read February 2020 — A study from the Macrothink Institute suggests that 8.7% of all payroll costs are tied to absenteeism, and when the bottom line is at stake, this makes business owners sit up and pay attention. This is perhaps the biggest reason why the global wellness industry has blown up in recent years and is now worth $4.5 trillion, according to the Global Wellness Institute.

 

When thinking of wellness, often fitness comes to mind. But wellness is an overarching industry that encompasses various sectors, including personal care, beauty and anti-aging; healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss; fitness and preventive medicine. The U.S. ranks No. 1 globally for its wellness industry, at a value of $52.5 billion.

One novel technology in the wellness industry is cryotherapy. It may sound like a technology of the future but iCRYO Cryotherapy is a leading company in the field, offering services that include whole body cryotherapy, cryo facials, infrared saunas, IV infusions, compression therapy, body sculpting, and localized cryotherapy. Launched in October 2015, the company now has an estimated annual revenue of $11.4 million.

iCRYO has 11 branches across New York, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Kansas and Texas, with another 12 coming soon. The Fort Lauderdale location will celebrate its grand opening next week, on Feb. 22.

It’s another in the series of developments as Fort Lauderdale quickly jumps on the wellness bandwagon. In fact, at the end of this month, the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard will host the Employee Wellness Summit for Legal and Professional Services, a 1.5-day event that attracts sponsors such as insurance provider Cigna and healthcare company Optum.

FINN Partners, a public relations company with offices in Fort Lauderdale, also recently launched the FINN Wellness Collaborative, an initiative to elevate brands that support employee and consumer wellness. “Brands are seeking to secure a value-based loyalty connection to their customers,” said Cathy Chon, managing partner of CatchOn Communications, a FINN Partners affiliate, in a press release. “From safer home-cleaning products to clean-beauty cosmetics to sustainable fashion, consumers are making wellness a decision at check-point – and these brands need to be recognized for their contributions toward personal care and wellness.”

A 2016 Gallup poll showed that highly engaged workplaces can claim 41% lower absenteeism, 40% fewer quality defects, and 21% higher profitability. And in a period of extremely low unemployment, companies need to offer greater flexibility to retain the best talent, as 54% of office workers reported in the poll that they’d leave their job for one that offers flexible work time and 53% of employees say work-life balance and personal well-being are “very important” to them when considering a new job post.

“This new global data stream is meant to encourage business leaders and policymakers to see physical activity as a comprehensive sector, and one that’s critical in supporting lifestyles that are crucial to good health,” said Ophelia Yeung, one of the co-authors of the Global Wellness report.

To learn more, visit:

http://en.macrothink.org/

https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/

https://icryo.com/

https://www.riversidehotel.com/

https://www.catchonco.com/

https://www.finnpartners.com/

https://employeewellnesssummit.com/

https://www.gallup.com/home.aspx