• Loading stock data...
Monday, June 24, 2024

Meet the Rising 25: Justin Warden of Ader

The Rising 25 class of 2019, presented by AB InBev, represents some of the brightest young professionals in the sports industry. Over the next several weeks, we’re proud to introduce you to this year’s winners and highlight some of their achievements to date.

Today, meet Justin Warden: Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Ader. Growing up in Marin County, California, Warden discovered a love of gaming and esports at a young age. This instilled a desire to find a career within the gaming industry.

READ MORE:  Meet the Rising 25: Jack Kelly of CAA and the Premier Lacrosse League

“I played ‘Starcraft II’ and hit masters on a really crummy laptop that would crash or freeze three times a match, but I still was able to do it because I was really competitive,” he recalls. “That’s when I realized I wanted it to be in the ecosystem.”

Warden carried that love of gaming and the unique competitive playing field esports provides through college.

“I decided to go into esports because it offers a way to compete that truly levels the field. I wanted a place where anyone can compete regardless of physical attributes.”

[mc4wp_form id=”8260″]

Warden founded Ader, an influencer network and agency with a gaming focus, in 2014. For accruing more than $7 million in revenue, Warden was recently named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for gaming. Warden credits much of his success to the team he has built within Ader. He advises other young professionals to learn from this and surround themselves with a quality team.

“Find the right people. I got really lucky. My team is phenomenal. The reason people struggle early in their careers is that they can’t find the right people. Surround yourself with people who actually want to succeed and see you succeed.”

Working in esports, Warden can attest that any preconceived notions of esports being for the lazy or faint of heart are incorrect. The industry is getting more and more competitive by the day and doesn’t slow down for those who can’t keep up.

“I think people perceive it to be an easy life. It’s not just playing video games all day. They think that these people stream a few hours a day and they’re making millions,” he states. “The truth is that whether you’re a competitor, content creator, or a manager, you should be working your tail off every day. Lazy people are being pushed out of the industry and the ones that are coming up are the ones that are working 12-hour days. It’s not easy.”

READ MORE:  Meet The Rising 25: Josh Keiles of The National Sports Forum

After seeing the benefits of working hard, Warden embraces the grind of being an entrepreneur and where it has gotten him. Other young entrepreneurs would be wise to follow that example.

“It can be really exhausting to think about the entrepreneurship life and the 60-80 hour weeks you put in,” he says. “But when people see you working hard, they want to back you. They’re much more likely to support you than if you were just doing the traditional nine to five grind. I wish I’d had that kind of insight when I was younger.”

Meet the full class of 2019 here.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

IOC Proposes Holding Separate Olympics for Esports

The organization’s executive board has proposed a separate Olympics for online gaming.
Jan 13, 2021; Washington, DC, USA; The U.S. Capitol Building is seen on Jan. 13, 2021, one week after it was stormed by a pro-Trump mob while a joint session of Congress was certifying the 2020 election victory of President Elect Joe Biden.

House Committee Sends Bill Banning College Athlete Employment to House Floor

The bill has gone further than any other athlete compensation legislation.
May 10, 2024; Lake Forest, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams during a press conference before Chicago Bears rookie minicamp at Halas Hall.

Caleb Williams Launches Investment Firm Before Signing a Bears Contract

Williams announced 888 Midas for private equity, VC, and real estate deals.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Clock is Ticking to Restart Coyotes’ Franchise

0:00

Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.
cartooons_of_2021_rising_25_winners

Rising 25 Virtual Gala

Virtual celebration honoring the Rising 25 Class of 2021.
man_smiling
June 12, 2019

Meet the Rising 25: George Steinbrenner IV of Harding Steinbrenner Racing

The youngest team owner in the history of IndyCar, Steinbrenner carries a passion for sports he inherited from his father and grandfather.
rising_25_logo_anheuser_busch_logo
October 8, 2020

Rising 25 Virtual Gala

Watch the virtual celebration honoring the Rising 25 Class of 2020.
Sponsored

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
man_in_hat
June 10, 2019

Meet the Rising 25: Andre Robinson of the Los Angeles Clippers

Currently a video producer in the NBA, Robinson takes pride in being a point of inspiration for young videographers and people in his hometown.
woman_smiling
June 7, 2019

Meet the Rising 25: Zoë White of the Atlanta Hawks

A Stanford graduate, White successfully made the transition to sports marketing after beginning her professional life in sports medicine.
June 5, 2019

Meet the Rising 25: Travis Case of the Los Angeles Kings

Shortly after graduating from Belmont University in 2016, Case began a career in sales that is off to an impressive start.
June 4, 2019

Meet the Rising 25: Samantha Timmons of the USTA

A recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Timmons has experience connecting with audiences of all kinds.