OverActive Media announced Tuesday that the Montreal Canadiens have joined its ownership group and NHL players Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin also have come aboard OverActive’s list of celebrity and athlete owners.
The Canadiens’ strategic investment helped OverActive Media exceed $40 million in a second closing on its private placement and signals Montreal’s move into the esports industry and desire to play a leadership role.
“We are thrilled to be joining this already strong partnership group led by the Kimel family, Sheldon Pollack and Bell,” said Geoff Molson, Canadiens’ president, CEO and co-owner. “We have been following the incredible progress of the OverActive Media team for more than two years. They are an impressive operation and clearly a leading organization in the global esports industry. We could not be more excited for our future together.”
Said Chris Overholt, president and CEO of OverActive Media: “We are beginning to manifest our vision for building a world-leading sports and entertainment organization for a new generation of fans — and who better to inform that strategy than to partner with one of the single most successful sport franchises of all time.”
“We are proud of the tremendous momentum we have gathered ahead of our planned public listing,” Overhold added. “Announcing the addition of the Montreal Canadiens, Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin to our ownership group is a tremendous honor. We are humbled by their interest and incredible support for our business.”
Kessel, a 15-year NHL veteran currently with the Arizona Coyotes, and Hagelin, a 10-year veteran currently playing for the Washington Capitals, join Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mitch Marner and Grammy Award-winning musician The Weeknd as celebrity members of the ownership team.
In February, OverActive Media confirmed details of a $500 million project in the heart of Toronto’s CNE Grounds that will include a 7,000-seat “performance venue.” The project includes a hotel complex along with a theater-style entertainment venue that is projected to be completed in 2025.
The venue will be privately financed, with OverActive Media planning to attract music and entertainment acts from around the world to Toronto. The goal is to host more than 200 annual entertainment events along with conventions, corporate events and product launches.
OverActive, which owns the Call of Duty League’s Toronto Ultra and the Overwatch League’s Toronto Defiant, is planning for a “full slate” of esports events.
–Field Level Media