Skillz Leaps on Plan With NFL for Contest to Develop Mobile Game

Skillz and the NFL aim to connect with the next generation of football fans. And they're sponsoring a contest to develop a new mobile game.
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Skillz  (SKLZ) - Get Report shares soared to record levels Thursday after the mobile-gaming company said it was joining with the National Football League to host a challenge to develop an NFL-themed mobile game.

Shares of the San Francisco company at last check were climbing 20% to $37.55.

The game will be powered by the Skillz esports platform and will be marketed by both the NFL and the company.

The combination of the NFL brand and the Skillz platform will set the stage for the future of electronic sports competition, Skillz said.

"The developer challenge will launch in the second quarter of 2021 and be open to all genres except for 11 v 11 simulated games," the company said.

"The NFL is an iconic brand that is synonymous with American sports, and Skillz is thrilled to help power their esports competitions on mobile," Andrew Paradise, founder and chief executive of Skillz, said in a statement.

Rachel Hoagland, vice president of gaming and esports at the NFL, said "mobile gaming continues to be an important platform to reach and engage new and existing fans."

Skillz is a mobile-gaming platform where users can play and compete with others in games such as "Solitaire Cube" and "21 Blitz."

The company makes money by sharing revenue with developers whose games are on the Skillz platform.

Esports have taken off during the pandemic, when other sports were forced to shut down. A Madden NFL mobile game is currently available.

Mobile games made $73.8 billion in 2020 compared with the $19.7 billion that console games made, according to Superdata.

During the covid-19 pandemic, in the second quarter of 2020, consumers downloaded nearly 35 billion new apps and spent $27 billion, according to mobile data and analytics researcher App Annie.