ULTI Agency partners up with big profiles


700 million people will watch esports in 2021. Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær and high-profile sports agent Jim Solbakken have signed an agreement to become major owners of Norwegian esport company Ulti Agency.


"Esports have 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", says Ole Gunnar Solskjær.


Ulti Agency was established in the middle of the pandemic and has only been operating for a little over half a year. The agency is already managing and representing e-sports talents worldwide, using a similar model as in soccer. It is also providing businesses with marketing advise and branding strategies in the rapidly growing field.


Ole Gunnar Solskjær is now acquiring 12.5 per cent of the company through his company Grip Management AS. The same applies for the highly profiled international soccer agent Jim Solbakken, who is acquiring 12.5 per cent through his company Sir Solution AS.


"I have wanted to do something in esports for a long time. But it had to be with the right people and in a way that adds something to the sport. I have found that here. Ulti Agency takes experience and knowledge from traditional sports - and combines that with a real understanding and passion for esports, says Solbakken.


The parties will not comment on the purchase price. Ulti Agency recently opened an office in Seattle in the USA and has concrete plans for expansion in Asia and South America. Chief Executive of Ulti Agency, Asgeir Kvalvik, says the new owners will help them realize these plans.


"We are thrilled to have Ole Gunnar and Jim onboard. This move is a recognition of esports. They have the experience, commitment, and knowledge to push Ulti Agency forward and help define our entire field. That is very important, because we have grand ambitions and the possibilities are unlimited, says Kvalvik, who has previously worked for the Norwegian Premier League club Kristiansund BK for several years.


The analysis company Newzoo estimates that 728 million people will watch eSports in 2021. 474 million of them are enthusiasts who watch eSports at least once a month. The total turnover is expected to approach 1,1 billion USD. (NOTE: We accidentally listed the numbers of people streaming games as e-sports viewers. The correct number from Newzoo is 474 million e-sports viewers, of which 234 million are enthusiast. 728 million is the total global games live-streaming audience.)


“The possibilities are limitless. There are already more than 1,000 highly paid professional e-sport players in the world. Strong and powerful organizations and teams are emerging, but there are only a handful of serious agents to support them. Both Ulti Agency and we as owners have a lot to contribute. We also see that soccer clubs are currently investing heavily in e-sports, which makes this extra interesting for us”, says Jim Solbakken.


Ulti Agency is one of only a handful of serious management agencies in esports internationally. They see rapid growth in the near future and are planning to invite more investors in to realize its ambitions.


“We receive many inquiries from many interesting investors. The coming year will be very exciting for Ulti Agency”, says Kvalvik.