Telco brands under the 3 Group umbrella will sponsor the MotoGP eSport Championship in a three-year deal, from 2020 to 2022.
The deal was struck between Dorna Sports, the commercial rights-holder for MotoGP, and CKH Innovations Opportunities Development (CKH IOD), the international development hub of mobile operator group CK Hutchison.
CK Hutchison operates the 3 brand of mobile networks in Italy, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Austria and Ireland.
Two of the group’s companies – 3 Austria and Windtre in Italy – will sponsor the esports property with the potential for other 3 Group companies to follow.
As part of the agreement, Italy’s Windtre will be the main and title sponsor of a new ‘Rising Stars Series’, naming it the Windtre Rising Stars Series.
The series will see gamers take part in three online races covering the Americas; Europe and Africa; and Asia and Oceania, with the three winners securing a place in the 2021 MotoGP eSport Championship draft.
Gianluca Corti, chief commercial officer, Windtre, said the deal would specifically showcase its 5G capabilities. The championship will experience an “exponential development” with the arrival of 5G, he said.
Since its launch in 2017, the MotoGP eSport Championship has accumulated more than 64 million video views online, 247 million impressions and over 8 million engagements.
Pau Serracanta, managing director, Dorna Sports, said the property is already growing at an “amazing rate and this agreement will only help us to grow even more.”
Dorna has also introduced virtual races for its MotoGP stars to promote the sport during the lock-down caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first race on March 29 (see picture) was shown by 28 broadcast partners and racked up 13 million online video views, including 3 million views of the race itself.