Kurt Melcher

Kurt Melcher

Executive Director of Gaming and Esports , Intersport

Kurt Melcher is the executive director of gaming and esports at Intersport, leading a team of esports and gaming industry veterans that delivers innovative marketing solutions, business strategy, investment intelligence and original production services to brands, publishers, leagues, teams, universities, and investors. He is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University teaching about the busines of esports. The Intersport Esports Group is the driving force behind notable work for clients that include the NCAA, Warner Bros, Rocket Mortgage, Samsung, Smithfield Foods, Red Bull and 7-Eleven. Intersport Esports Group provides global turnkey gaming/esports solutions for game publishers, brands, and teams across production, broadcast, tournament and tour design. Starting in 2017, Melcher has served as the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) strategic esports advisor, leading the governing body’s research of the collegiate esports community and developing frameworks for how esports could be incorporated into the collegiate sports model. Additionally, he and the Intersport team work with NCAA member conferences to develop esports programming as well as individual universities to build their competitive esports programs, including areas such as administrative staffing and player recruitment, facility design and co-curricular initiatives. 

Melcher rose to prominence in 2014, when he made Robert Morris University (IL) the first college to recognize esports as part of the athletic department and offer athletic scholarships to gamers, helping legitimize the world of college esports. An athletic director and coach for more than 15 years, Melcher recognized the core educational elements involved in traditional sports and believes the same holds true in esports.