Liam Thompson, gaming and influencer executive with brand agency Cake, picks out the most interesting recent stories from the esports sector…
- Vision Esports is the largest shareholder in three different esports companies
- Astralis signs drinks partnership with Coco Fuzion 100
- Mercedes-Benz and Pringles activate around Dota 2 Major
Two major sports teams invest in esports
The New York Yankees, one of the world’s most recognisable baseball teams, has announced its first move into esports through an investment partnership with Vision Esports.
Vision Esports is the largest single shareholder in three different esports companies, including two teams, Echo Fox and Twin Galaxies, plus content production company Vision Entertainment.
The New York Yankees will work with the teams and Vision Esports to transfer its expertise in marketing, sales and brand development into esports.
The Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team has also made a big move in esports with the purchase of a spot in the North America League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS).
The team has hired ex-professional Call of Duty player Matthew Haag, better known as Nadeshot, to head up the team’s operations.
Another rival team, the Golden State Warriors, was also accepted into the NA LCS just days before the Cavs announcement. Only 10 teams will play in the franchise format of the NA LCS.
Astralis signs new hydration partner
Where the world of traditional sport is often criticised for its partnerships with alcoholic drinks manufacturers, the world of esports sometimes gets a bad rap for its partnerships with unhealthy energy drink brands.
Red Bull, Monster Energy and Cola-Cola are just a few examples of the sugary, highly caffeinated drinks associated with the gaming space.
To counter this, a few alternative brands market themselves as healthy alternatives with no sugar and no crash. Gfuel Energy, for example, has been involved with esports since the very beginning and now holds multiple sponsorships with teams, players and even an esports arena.
Now another healthy option has entered the scene, as drinks provider C7 Brands starts a new partnership with team Astralis.
C7 Brands has been named as the official hydration partner of Astralis, one of the best Counter-Strike teams in the world, and the two have created a ‘performance optimisation partnership’ around the brand’s Coco Fuzion 100 drink range.
Coco Fuzion 100 is claimed to be a healthy, natural source of hydration with no sugar or caffeine. C7 Brands hopes the partnership will boost its chances of success when it launches the drink in the US this year.
Major global brands sponsor ESL event
Pringles, the globally recognised snack brand, recently announced a new sponsorship with the $1m ESL One Hamburg Dota 2 Major event that took place in late October.
Pringles set up its own gaming area at the event and had a presence at the team hotel where participating players received personalised Pringles cans.
Mercedes-Benz also sponsored ESL One Hamburg, as part of a longer deal that will see the vehicle manufacturer sponsor tournaments across multiple markets.
Mercedes-Benz provided a fleet of custom skinned cars covered with each of the team’s branding and offered a brand new $50,000 (€43,000) car to the player that fans voted as MVP of the tournament.
It is certainly significant that two globally recognised but very different brands have decided to enter the esports space and that they are both activating around the same Dota 2 major. We already know that Mercedes has more activations planned for the future, but we don’t know if we can say the same for Pringles just yet.