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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Solskjaer invests in esports

Manchester United's manager and former Norwegian soccer player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been announced as the new co-owner of ULTI Agency, a company that represents pro gamers. Solskjaer will become a minority shareholder in the company, after he and his agent Jim Solbakken acquired a combined 25% of the company through their ventures.

"Esports has become bigger than anyone would have dared to predict just a few years ago. It spreads the joy of sports worldwide. That is exciting, and Ulti Agency is a company with big plans. They’re all about seeing the players and giving them a chance," said Solskjaer in an official statement.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is a Norwegian soccer coach and former player. He is currently managing Manchester United, after playing for the team for over 10 years. As a player, he helped Manchester United win the Champions League in 1999.

With the onboarding of Solskjaer and Solbakken, ULTI has strengthened its Norwegian roots. The company was founded by professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player Joakim 'jkaem" Myrbostad in 2020. Currently, it has a European and North American branch. In the press release, ULTI says that it wants to enter the Asian and South American markets. 

Manchester United manager latest in football to enter esports

Soccer and esports are becoming more and more intertwined. David Beckham is involved as an investor and representative for Guild Esports and Gareth Bale founded Ellevens Esports. They join the likes of Stephen Curry, Odell Beckham Jr., Steve Young, and many more traditional sports personalities to jump into the industry.

Several big European soccer teams have started investing in esports over the past few years. German team FC Schalke 04 has a League of Legends team that competes in the LEC, where they have found relative success. Paris Saint-Germain, possibly the biggest team in France, co-sponsors teams in League of Legends and Dota 2 in PSG Talon and PSG.LGD, respectively. Teams like Manchester City, Wolfsburg, Valencia CF, and Sporting Lisboa have also invested in esports organizations over the past few years.

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