Mall landlord Simon has entered an agreement to team up with Allied Esports, an e-sports operator, to open venues in shopping centers around the country. Allied Esports is a sister company of the World Poker Tour. This move will allow connecting video-game players, streamers and fans through integrated arenas and mobile e-sports trucks worldwide. As part of this move, Simon and Allied Esports will create dedicated e-sports venues and experience sites at select domestic Simon properties here in the US. In these efforts, they will also begin a competition tour called “The Simon Cup”.

The integration of such a concept and partnership by mall landlord Simon is a great play to help strengthen and keep brick and mortar assets relevant long term. The shopping center is no longer just a place to shop, it must provide more than just shopping to its consumers. With the changing dynamics of retail, providing an experience and community is mandatory, giving consumers a reason to get off their couch and to come visit brick and mortar retail properties. Shopping centers owners will continue to look for ways to innovate and incorporate such uses into their centers to activate properties and drive traffic to their assets.