David Beckham had another reason to cheer today as his London-listed gaming firm, Guild Esports, said it expects to hit income targets and reach 1 million subscribers by 2022.
Esports sees top gamers get paid to play hits including FIFA and Fortnite in live-streamed competitions garnering millions of viewers.
Guild was the first esports franchise to join the London Stock Exchange when it completed a £41 million IPO in October.
It is co-owned by Beckham, who is set to receive £13 million from the firm as brand ambassador over a four-year period.
The firm said today that it took in £0.4 million in revenues and made a £4.3 million pre-tax loss in the six months to April, "reflecting investment in teams, Guild Academy, content creation and corporate infrastructure".
But bosses said that it expects to begin generating "significant revenues" in the second half.
The company said it has secured sponsorship deals with contracted revenues of at least £7.5 million, "putting Guild on track to achieve first-year sponsorship revenue targets". Subway, Hyper X and Samsung are among brands to have signed multi-year partnerships with the company.
CEO, Kal Hourd, said: "In the first six months since our IPO we have executed our strategy of investing in and building best-in-class esports teams, content creators, lifestyle apparel and our academy system, along with a fully supported operations team."
He added: "Our future vision and strategy is data led, and now with our significant audience numbers, we have access to a large amount of information and insight to build upon. Guild's fanbase is a lucrative asset to global brands who require an authentic way to reach the younger, digitally focused audience and we continue to evaluate expansion into further game titles and countries in order to accelerate our growth."
Goldman Sachs has tipped the sector to near £2.5 billion in global revenues by 2022 and Beckham is not the only footballer investing in the scene. Gareth Bale owns a team called Elleven Esports.