Houston-based Mainline has announced new partnerships with a few universities. Jamie McInall/Pexels
This article originally appeared on InnovationMap.
A Houston esports platform has announced that four universities — including one in town — have made moves to optimize the company's technology.
Texas A&M University, the University of Texas - Austin, Louisiana State University, and Houston's own University of St. Thomas have made a deal with Mainline. The company, which just closed a $9.8 million series A round, is a software and management platform for esports tournaments.
The four schools will use the software to host and grow their on-campus esports communities, according to a news release.
"These are top universities seeing the value of esports on-campus and making a choice to support their students' desires to play and compete — much like in traditional sports," says Chris Buckner, CEO at Mainline, in the release. "Adoption of Mainline is validation of the opportunity to engage students and the broader community with a compelling esports platform, as well as strengthen a school's brand, provide additional partnership opportunities and market their initiatives"
While UST has is still in the process of utilizing Mainline for its esports platform to grow its program and will use the software for its first tournament in 2020, A&M first used Mainline's software this past spring, but has doubled down on its commitment to esports.
"Texas A&M recognizes the significant esports presence on campus and the importance of supporting this thriving student community. Mainline allows us to maintain the brand continuity of the university, and to drive incremental inventory and value for sponsors," says Mike Wright, director of public relations and strategic communications at Texas A&M Athletics, in the release.
The platform provides its clients with an easy way to manage, monetize, and market their tournaments.
At UT, the school's administration, along with its Longhorn Gaming Club, is currently running two tournaments on Mainline: Rocket League and League of Legends.
"Texas has had a long established esports community on campus, and our partnership with Mainline will enable us to more closely work with Longhorn Gaming to better support this audience to benefit our students and partners," says Mike Buttersworth, director of the Center for Sports Communication and Media at UT, in the release.
Continue on InnovationMap to learn about the esports tournament that's running at LSU.
NFL free agency is right around the corner and the Houston Texans have a ton of salary cap space. Not to mention, it was announced on Friday the NFL is raising the salary cap to $255.4 million, an increase over 13%.
PFF has the Texans with the 7th-most cap space in the NFL at $67.5 million. So what should the Texans do with all of that money?
Several players have already been connected to the Texans. Houston is the betting favorite to land Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans, according to bookies.com.
And Giants running back Saquon Barkley has been rumored to have interest in joining the Texans after he followed many players on social media like Brevin Jordan, CJ Stroud, Nico Collins, and others.
But in the video above, Craig from Sports Talk Extra makes his case for the Texans to address the front seven. But not in the typical way by adding a defensive lineman. He believes DeMeco Ryans will have interest in signing Panthers middle linebacker Frankie Luvu based on an article he read of Texans Wire.
Luvu was originally an edge defender for the Jets, but now is an interior linebacker who has seen a ton of success over the last two years with Carolina. He's recorded over 100 tackles in his last two seasons, and also sacked the quarterback 5.5 times last season, and 7 times in 2022. You don't find many players with both that many tackles and sacks.
Linebacker Denzel Perryman struggled in coverage for the Texans last year, dealt with injuries, and is 31 years old. So with his contract now expired, the Texans should look to upgrade.
Spotrack has Luvu's market value at $11.2 million/year. They believe he will command a deal in the 4-year, $40 million range.
So should the Texans make the deal?
Check out the video above to watch the full discussion.