Phillies' Bryce Harper Signs Contract with Gaming Company Loaded

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2020

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper is seen during a spring training baseball game, Monday, March 9, 2020, in Clearwater, Fla. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Like many other people, Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper has been playing video games while social distancing after stay-at-home orders became a reality during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His esports adventures have landed him a deal with gaming management company Loaded.

"Baseball will always be my No. 1 priority, but gaming gives me a fun competitive outlet to uniquely connect with friends, peers and fans," Harper said in a statement. "This partnership will help further fuel my passion for gaming, allowing for opportunities to grow my community and streaming presence."

Adam Stern reported the news for Sports Business Daily and The Esports Observer, saying the deal intends to "build out … Harper's game presence" through additional platforms, streaming techniques, sponsorships and collaborations. Stern noted the deal was in the works before the pandemic began.

Loaded also represents Fortnite star Tyler "Ninja" Blevins. Harper has consistently streamed himself playing Fortnite with Major League Baseball's 2020 season on hold.

According to Adam Hermann of NBC Sports Philadelphia, "Harper has been streaming himself playing Fortnite on Twitch almost daily during May."

Loaded founder Brandon Freytag weighed in on the deal:

"Bryce is a smart dude and Boras Corp. is a smart company for him, and this is about broadening his audience. In baseball, he's probably captured a good portion of the enthusiasts, whereas in the gaming world, there's not a lot of people that know Bryce especially if they don't watch baseball. Our playbook is to initially get him set up and comfortable with streaming … and certainly working with Boras on endemic sponsorships within the tech world."

Harper, a six-time All-Star, has nearly 14,000 followers on his Twitch account.