Overwatch League revealed its sponsorship deals for the 2019 season, including a new multi-year partnership with Coca-Cola, which joins Toyota, T-Mobile, HP, and Intel as key supporters of the league. The Coca-Cola deal designates the brand as the league’s official global beverage sponsor across all non-alcoholic beverage categories. In addition, Blizzard Entertainment has named Coca-Cola the official global beverage sponsor for the broader Overwatch esports ecosystem, including Overwatch Contenders, Open Division, Tespa (in North America), the Overwatch World Cup, and BlizzCon. Coca-Cola will also be the official North American beverage sponsor across all non-alcoholic beverage categories for the Overwatch game.
As the 2019 season prepares to warm up for the NBA 2K League, the organization announced a multiyear partnership with Champion Athleticwear to serve as the league’s official outfitter ahead of the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft, set for March 5 at Barclays Center. The deal will see Champion provide the NBA 2K League’s 21 teams with game uniforms as well as warmup, travel and practice apparel. In-game avatars will also be outfitted in Champion-branded uniforms and throughout the season, Champion will provide apparel for marquee events like the NBA 2K League Draft Clash, in-season tournaments and the NBA 2K League Finals.
Counter Logic Gaming locked in deal with Newegg to serve as the Presenting Partner and Official Online Technology Retail Partner for CLG’s Fortnite team. The partnership includes premier brand integration for Newegg across CLG’s digital platforms, CLG’s Fortnite team jerseys and team community events, as well as an original content series featuring CLG’s Fortnite team members that will run on the CLG website and digital channels. In addition, this Spring will see CLG host the first annual Newegg X CLG Fortnite Event at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
T-Mobile and the Houston Outlaws renewed their partnership through the 2019 season. The upcoming season will see the brand retain its status as the presenting partner of the Houston Outlaws and continue to serve as the Official Wireless Partner of the team. Together, the pair will continue to offer exclusive VIP perks to T-Mobile customers while providing all fans exclusive access to the team with the #OutlawsUnlimitedvideo series and events within the Houston Area.
HyperX signed on as an official sponsor of Pittsburgh Knights, serving as the Exclusive Peripherals Sponsor of the Knights with gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, mousepads and internal memory products. “HyperX is a prominent sponsor of gaming and esports around the world and the Pittsburgh Knights are very happy to become part of the HyperX family,” said James O’Connor, Pittsburgh Knights president. “Their headsets and gaming gear are of the highest quality and will give us a real advantage in practice and during tournaments.”
ESL announced an extension of its partnership agreement with paysafecard. As a global sponsor, paysafecard will continue to support all ESL flagship tournaments and leagues including ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters and ESL Pro League circuits, as well as several National Championships with the partnership focusing on three major global community events: “paysafecard Hall of Fame,” “Beat the Legends” and “Ultimate Experience.”
ESL is also renewing vows with Facebook Gaming, announcing an expansion of the league’s partnership to bring coverage of all global ESL esports competitions non-exclusively to the Facebook platform. ESL will broadcast both of its flagship circuit events, Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) and ESL One, as well as the premier professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Pro League. “ESL brings together a global community of esports fans and aims to deliver amazing esports experiences to audiences around the world, both online and through large scale events,” said Ralf Reichert, Co-CEO, ESL. “ESL will be providing multiple sources in which fans can experience our flagship circuits online — including a return to Facebook Gaming to continue bringing content to its rapidly growing audience.”
Allied Esports announced the creation of PlayTime with KittyPlays, an all-new live original content series hosted by streamer, Fortnite caster, content creator and competitive esports player Kristen “KittyPlays” Michaela. The series will run monthly and debut in the spring of 2019, serving as a live esports entertainment and variety show, featuring top influencers and celebrity guests; streamed in front of a live studio audience at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas with each episode featuring approximately six hours of original content.
With the second season of the NBA 2K looming and four new expansion teams in the league, there’s going to be more competition than ever when it comes to attracting a loyal fan base. The most logical first step for teams with a strong fan base in the NBA is to convert those fans over. FanAI investigated which teams from Season 1 were most successful in gaining crossover followers on Twitter. Of the 17 league teams, Bucks Gaming and Warriors Gaming lead the way with the most converted fans on a percentage basis. The top five were rounded out by CLTX Crossover Gaming, Cavs Legion, and Knicks Gaming. With the exception of Bucks Gaming, all teams in the league share fewer than a third of their fans with their parent team. It’ll take further investigation to fully understand the cause for this gap, but it’s clear that there’s untapped potential when it comes to NBA 2K teams fully capturing the imagination, and loyalty, of native basketball fans.
Heavy hearts from around the gaming community on Tuesday after Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick announced in an earning call that the company would be laying off 8% of its workforce, despite recording record sales, with the cuts amounting to almost 800 jobs from across the company, which includes Activision, Blizzard and King. The consolidation would mainly affect non-game development departments, with reports of heavy cuts in publishing and esports.
The launch of Apex Legends continued to set records, as the free-to-play battle royale game, released earlier this month, has drawn over 25 million registered users, with a peak of 2 million concurrent players recorded last weekend.
The 1,000 Dreams Fund, a national non-profit that offers micro-grants that support the dreams of talented young women, announced an expansion of its BroadcastHER Academy – Powered by HARMAN program Allied Esports, and HyperX with the launch of the inaugural BroadcastHER Academy Challenge. Over the next four weeks, 1DF invites young women pursuing careers in esports and gaming – whether in front-of or behind the camera – to enter for a chance to win a $1,000 microgrant to use toward their gaming goals, and an all-expense paid trip to HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas, where they will work side-by-side with the production and executive teams to execute an event. A total of nine challenge winners will be announced by 1DF based on the quality of their entry, which focuses on their goals in gaming and demonstrated need.
Newzoo’s 2019 Global Esports Market Report projects global esports revenues to rise to $1.1 billion in 2019, crossing the $1 billion threshold for the first time ever and marking a revenue boost of 26.7% year-over-year, with North America representing $409.1 million of the cut. The study anticipates that global esports revenues to reach $1.8 billion by 2022 in its base scenario.
Ad Age reports that Nintendo selected Interpublic Group of Cos.-owned Initiative as its new agency in the US after a review. They replace Publicis Media’s Blue 449.
Sony Interactive Entertainment revealed that Jim Ryan will become president and CEO of SIE, while the executive currently in that role, John Kodera, will shift to deputy president. The moves will be effective on April 1, per GamesIndustry.