DreamHack is rolling with tire brand BFGoodrich for its Dallas stop, signing the company to serve as the “Official Tire Partner” of DreamHack Pro Circuit at DreamHack Dallas. The event will make its debut on May 31 and run 24 hours a day for three days through June 2. DreamHack Pro Circuit showcases top Rocket League teams at four stops during 2019, with a $100,000 prize pool at each event. ($400,000 total). BFGoodrich will now be integrated into the broadcast, studio show, and present custom-highlight segments, including “Top 3 plays of the day,” in addition to presenting the MVP of the tournament to celebrate players and teams on the road to victory. The partnership will feature BFGoodrich branding taking over the set with a complete, custom-built podium designed with BFGoodrich product and brand alignment — using BFGoodrich tires, tire marks, neon lights, and contextual Rocket League themed-aesthetic.
The Overwatch League tied up a deal with AB InBev, making Bud Light the official beer of Overwatch League. The brand will now activate at fan watch parties around the world (excluding China) and will include sponsorship of fan activations when the league hits the road, including last weekend’s events in Dallas, along with Atlanta Bud Light Homestand Weekends and the LA Rivalry Weekend. ABI and Bud Light will also be activating at the Overwatch League’s 2019 Grand Finals. “Our company has a long history of aligning ourselves with great sports partners and Overwatch League certainly fits that bill,” said João Chueiri, SVP of consumer connections marketing at AB InBev. “Bud Light was one of the early adopters of esports with our Bud Light Esports All-Stars program years ago and we are excited to expand our footprint with the premier esports property in Overwatch League. This partnership provides us with an opportunity to engage with a new segment of legal-drinking-age fans and align our brands with one of the most exciting esports properties out there right now.”
Magic Gaming named Full Sail University as the exclusive university partner of the NBA 2K League team, allowing the pair to launch “a unique partnership that enables the two entities to continue to build, support, and engage the esports community’s global audience, while providing educational opportunities for the students and alumni of Full Sail.” Dealpoints will see in-game exposure on Magic Gaming’s home court and opportunities for collaborative digital content to be displayed at the Magic Gaming’s practice studio and “The Fortress” at Full Sail (the university’s new esports facility). The two will also bring additional esports events to the greater Orlando community.
Complexity Gaming and MSI, a leader in gaming hardware, announced the exclusive partnership to outfit Complexity Gaming’s esports teams with gaming gear and serve as the Official Laptop, PC, Motherboard, Graphics Card, and Monitor partner of Complexity Gaming. The two brands will also collaborate to create unique event and trade show activations that showcase the immersive qualities and future of gaming.
Hawks Talon Gaming Club announced their first partnership with The Raynor Group as its Official Gaming Chair Partner. Raynor Group will equip Hawks Talon GC players with club-branded gaming chairs for practice.
Twitter returned to the Digital Content NewFronts showcasing an expanded lineup of new partnerships, as well as live and on demand premium video programming for advertisers. Video programming in sports announced on stage include a partnership with Blizzard Entertainment that will spotlight BlizzCon 2019 by delivering a selection of content from the show to Twitter for the first time. Viewers worldwide will be able to enjoy the entirety of the BlizzCon opening ceremony, exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews and live broadcasts, clips and highlights of game-developer panels, esports tournaments, and more.
Last week saw NBA 2K League serve up the first episode of a new content series entitled, “NBA 2K League Locked In powered by AT&T.” The series explores the lives of NBA 2K League players off the virtual court, focusing on the personal stories of the league’s 126 players and 21 teams. The first episode, which fans can view on the NBA 2K League YouTube Channel, is entitled “Building and Rebuilding” and focuses on two teams – NetsGC and Mavs Gaming – at different points in their development but facing the similar challenge of building new identities around a franchise player.
Fnatic, meanwhile, announced that the organization secured $19 million in Series A funding. The investment round was led by tech entrepreneur Lev Leviev of LVL1 Group, who also joins the board, with new and continued support from investors including transatlantic venture capitalist Beringea, BlackPine, Unbound, Raptor Group and Joi Ito. With this investment, Fnatic will enter the next phase of its global expansion, strengthen involvement in tier-one leagues, including the League of Legends European Championships, launch new product categories in its esports equipment subsidiary including a new audio line, as well as scaling up resources to deliver and deploy marketing efforts and reach for brands on an international scale. Former Mercedes AMG F1 Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nick Fry was named Chairman, Glen Calvert appointed COO and Fnatic’s founder, Sam Mathews, will retake the CEO position. Former CEO Wouter Sleijffers steps down after four years at the helm
Luminosity Gaming saw Canadian rapper and singer Tory Lanez join its ownership group where he will also serve as a global ambassador for the franchise. The new funding will assist the group in its global expansion.
Echo Fox founder and co-owner Rick Fox is reportedly poised to leave the organization. Dexerto reports that the decision was made after an encounter between Fox and a founding partner from Vision Esports, whom the site named as Amit Raizada, that saw Fox inform the team’s major stakeholders that Raizada would no longer be a part of the organization due to his actions, noting that, “The recent outrageous and abhorrent display of pure racism made by a significant Echo Fox shareholder as well as threats to my family have made it impossible for me to continue to remain associated with the company.” An email exchange, according to the report, revolved around a dispute between Jace Hall and Raizada that resulted in Raizada using the n-word. Attorneys for Raizada denied that he used “a racial epithet” to Fox, although a separate statement admitted his use of it toward Hall.
Foot Locker is adding esports merchandise to its lineup courtesy of a new product collaboration with Champion Athleticwear and five esports teams. The collection was “designed to reflect each team’s dynamic DNA and heritage, and includes apparel ranging from jerseys, sweatshirts and T-shirts.” Teams featured in the collection include: Optic Gaming, Counter Logic Gaming, Dignitas, Spacestation Gaming and Renegades. To launch the collection, limited quantities of the jerseys were released on NTWRK. Following NTWRK’s limited distribution, the Foot Locker family of brands – including Foot Locker, Champs Sports, Eastbay and Footaction – will launch the full lineup starting today. To celebrate the collection, Champs Sports will host an exclusive in-store tournament at its Times Square Flagship on May 18.
Capcom announced a restructuring of its esports and media licensing business units with the new entity now being known as Capcom Media Ventures. It will manage all of the company’s global esports initiatives outside of Japan including Capcom Pro Tour (CPT) and Street Fighter League (SFL) as well as Capcom’s entertainment licensing efforts. In addition to the pro leagues, Capcom will be rolling out college and amateur leagues later in 2019. “Los Angeles has become a major hub for esports production and it’s one of the global centers of Street Fighter fandom,” said Midori Yuasa, CEO, Capcom Media Ventures. “Our presence in the city gives us intimate access to those resources and community thought leaders. In addition, there are obvious benefits for our media licensing team to be based so close to our Hollywood partners.”
Superdata reports that the XR consumer hardware and software market size will reach $33.9 billion by the end of 2022, with the VR install base hitting 14 million by 2018 and will continuing to grow to 51 million by 2022. Meanwhile, mobile AR games like Pokémon Go and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will bring in multi-billion revenue to AR and MR consumer software market in 2019.
Nintendo reports that nearly a third of Nintendo Switch owners now have a paid subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, with the service now boasting membership topping 9.8 million, not counting free trial accounts.