Volkswagen of America scored a deal with the US Soccer Federation, announcing a multiyear presenting partnership that makes the brand the first automotive presenting sponsor in US Soccer History. The eight-figure deal is also the second largest partnership/sponsorship in the org’s history after Nike, and extends through 2022. The agreement was facilitated by Soccer United Marketing.
UFC booked a new integrated marketing partnership with Motel 6, that makes the chain UFC’s first-ever “Official Economy Lodging Partner,” creating a new sponsorship category for the MMA promotion. In return, Motel 6 will have a branded presence inside UFC’s Octagon for select UFC events, including several Pay-Per-Views and a variety of ESPN and ESPN+ telecasts. Additional partnership activations will include in-venue commercials, branded integrations in select UFC Pay-Per-Views and collaborations on digital and social media campaigns. Motel 6 will also have a branded presence at several UFC Fan Experience activations in the U.S.
The NBA will unveil “Banners,” a new spot for MLK Day that pays tribute to the many ways NBA players past and present honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and “bring the values of the game like teamwork, dedication, respect and equality, off the court and into our communities.” The spot features NBA legends: Bernard King, Dikembe Mutombo, Dominique Wilkins and Vince Carter, as they raise banners into the rafters for today’s NBA players who work year-round to bring people together and bridge divides in our communities.
Bud Light announced that they’ll be bringing enough beer for the whole city of whichever team wins this year’s Super Bowl, echoing last year’s run with the Eagles last year. “Bud Light made history with the Eagles last year with the biggest Super Bowl celebration ever,” the brand said in the news release. “As the Official Beer of the NFL, they’re making a promise to again be right there alongside fans when their team wins the Super Bowl this year.”
Topgolf Entertainment Group and NBC Sports Group entered a new strategic technology partnership designed to offer enhanced PGA TOUR tournament coverage and modernizing experiences at local golf facilities through the technology of Toptracer. Topgolf and NBC Sports’ new multi-year agreement includes the expansion of Toptracer as the exclusive ball-tracking technology for NBC Sports’ PGA TOUR telecasts on GOLF Channel and NBC, as well as Golf Central wraparound news coverage. In addition, Topgolf and NBC Sports will collaborate on future programming and content development initiatives.
Discovery purchased a 71% controlling stake in Play Sports Group, which offers Global Cycling Network, Global Mountain Bike Network, and Global Triathlon Network. The deal, according to reports, will see Discovery create the “first global ecosystem combining the best of community, content, lifestyle, and events for the large and growing number of cycling enthusiasts.”
Cloud9 locked in a deal with Puma, to mark the brand’s largest esports deal to date. The deal involves Cloud9’s North American League of Legends Championship Series team for Spring Split with PUMA becoming the Official Apparel and the Official game-day Pants and Shoes provider of the Cloud9 LCS team. “Esports are becoming increasingly popular with our consumers, so this is a very exciting deal for us,” said Adam Petrick, PUMA’s Global Director of Marketing. “Cloud9 is poised to have a great LCS season, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. We look forward to working with the Cloud9 team to make sure their players look as stylish off-stage as they do on-stage.”
GameWorks announced the rollout of “eSports Lounges” in four additional sites nationwide lining up new sites that will join current locations in Las Vegas, Denver and Seattle. The company’s new venues will open in the first quarter of the year, with locations in:
- Chesapeake, Va. (Norfolk/Virginia Beach) – February 28, 2019
- Schaumburg, Ill. (Chicago) – March 7, 2019
- Minneapolis, Minn./Mall of America – March 14, 2019
- Newport, Ky. (Cincinnati) – March 20, 2019
Targeting gamers around the country, MTN DEW AMP Game Fuel has gone national with new partnerships, following its beta test launch in December. The brand announced a slate of deals to coincide with its rollout, including ESL and Ubisoft, in addition to its roster of teams. With Ubisoft, the brand will deliver “valuable assets” within games, including the upcoming Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. Meanwhile, the beverage is also now the official global beverage partner of major global events within the ESL ecosystem, activating with “unique, interactive onsite experiences” at ESL’s premier competitions, ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters and ESL Pro League. Finally, the company is also expanding its professional gaming roster to include leading esports organization, Counter Logic Gaming. CLG joins the brand’s current roster of Team Dignitas, Immortals, SK Gaming – and most recently, Team OpTic.
Collectables and trading card company Panini locked in a new deal with esports outfit compLexity Gaming in a move that will see the two companies develop projects in the near future, including the launch of a Panini Twitch channel on Jan. 17. The companies will work to engage fans from both esports and traditional sports through original content collaborations, onsite activations, and collectible memorabilia. Complexity influencers and streamers from Madden, Fortnite, card games, and other gaming communities, will stream on the official Panini Twitch channel, alongside a dedicated monthly YouTube video, and social media posts.
OverActive Media locked in more than $22 million in its latest funding round. The capital will be used to fund its Overwatch League team, Toronto Defiant, and its League of Legends European Championship team, Splyce in addition to using funds to complete its acquisition of Splyce. The funding came from both new and existing shareholders, with a mix of corporate, private, and institutional investors.
Beasley Media Group, LLC; a subsidiary of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. named Jennifer Sulik to the newly created position of Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Beasley XP, the company’s recently announced esports division. Sulik most recently served as the founder and chief executive officer of Go Media Detroit.
Peter Laatz, has been named Global Managing Director for IEG, where he will now lead the company with a focus on driving product and services innovation and growth across its three primary verticals of business: valuation services, measurement and business insights and data, intelligence and thought leadership.
Combate Americas announced key appointments to its leadership team. Billy Sanez joins Combate Americas as Senior Vice President of Marketing, and Rosa Gomez is named Director, Digital and Social Media. Sanez will oversee brand development and integrated marketing communications. He will be based in Dallas, Texas. Gomez will oversee digital content and advertising and will lead the overall athlete social media influencer strategy. She will be based in Los Angeles. Both will report into Jacqueline Hernandez, President of Combate Americas.
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association announced that college athletics communications veteran Todd Bell has been named the WCHA’s Marketing & Communications Manager. Bell joins the WCHA from the athletics communications office at the University of Alabama.
Virginia Tech/Virginia square off at 8p on WatchESPN.