Key esports sponsorships and partnerships, March 2021

Each month, Esports Insider — in collaboration with polling and analytics platform YouGov — collates the period’s key sponsorship and partnership news in esports.

YouGov’s expanded Global Fan Profiles (GFP) tool now enables sponsors, properties, and rights holders to monitor fan sentiment in esports on a global scale (32 key markets). The new GFP tool gives a view of fanbases around the world, providing data across 200 leagues, 50 events, 45 game titles and 2,000 teams in sport and esports. Subscribers can create side-by-side comparisons of individual game titles, leagues, events, tournaments, and team fanbases.

Readers can sign up to the platform here.

Spotlighted story

bbno$ discusses esports collaboration following OFFMETA launch

Last month we interviewed rap sensation bbno$ — pronounced ‘baby no money’ — about his new music agreement with the ESL Pro League Season 13 in CS:GO.

Bbno$ is the first artist that newly founded music label OFFMETA represents. OFFMETA, focused on brokering relationships between musicians and the esports and gaming sector, was launched last month by Line Rindvig and Jannis Wenderholm, whom we also spoke with for the piece.

Read the interview here.

Esports Entertainment Group agrees Denver Broncos, Kraft Sports deals

Publicly listed gambling company Esports Entertainment Group (EEG) last month agreed partnerships with two massive companies — one with NFL franchise Denver Broncos, and another with Kraft Sports, owned by billionaire Robert Kraft.

In the former case, EEG will operate Madden NFL esports tournaments for the Broncos using EEG’s Esports Gaming League (EGL) platform. In the latter case, EEG will use the New England Patriots’s and New England Revolution’s marks to promote bi-annual esports tournaments on the EGL platform.

Click the corresponding links in the title to read more about each story.

Guild Esports announces multi-million-pound Subway deal

British esports org Guild Esports last month announced a two-year sponsorship deal with Subway. The agreement will encompass 55 EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) markets.

Subway branding will be featured on Guild team jerseys, across branded content, and throughout Guild’s London headquarters opening later this year.

Alienware ends Riot Games partnership amid sexism controversy

Alienware will end its partnership with Riot Games 10 months early following sexual-harassment allegations against Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent. Alienware cited concern with the game developer’s public image amid harassment claims and other controversies, according to a report from Dot Esports.

In August 2018, Kotaku reported numerous allegations of sexism and sexual harassment at Riot. In December 2018 Riot suspended Chief Operating Officer Scott Gelb after a report surfaced detailing allegations of inappropriate conduct.

EXCEL ESPORTS announces Beyond NRG as energy drink partner

An all-British affair here as London-based EXCEL Esports last month partnered with energy drink brand Beyond NRG. Beyond is the official energy drink partner for EXCEL’s League of Legends and VALORANT rosters.

Beyond NRG launched in 2020 and has already penned agreements with the ESL Premiership, Warner Bros Games, and UK org Team Endpoint.

Team Endpoint extends CeX partnership in ‘seven-figure’ deal

Speaking of Team Endpoint, the Sheffield-based org — currently flying high in the ESL Pro League in CS:GO and the RLCSX in Rocket League — last month extended its CeX partnership in a seven-figure deal.

Hugh Man and Frank Orchard — Chairman and Franchise Director of CEX respectively — have joined Team Endpoint’s board in non-executive roles as part of the equity-linked agreement.

Unikrn forms blockchain partnership with FYX Gaming

Esports betting company Unikrn has partnered with blockchain gaming platform FYX Gaming.

CryptoFights, FYX’s flagship game, will be included on Unikrn Virtual — a platform that uses historical esports match data to inform a continuous stream of content alongside live betting markets. Unikrn Virtual will utilise the in-game data created during real-life CryptoFights matches to select new streams and markets on its platform. All of these matches will be recorded in real time to the Bitcoin SV blockchain through FYX’s platform.

Esports Insider’s sister magazine, The Esports Journal, will explore blockchain and crypto technology in the upcoming Edition 8 — including an in-depth interview with FYX CEO Adam Kling. It’s a fascinating piece. Keep your eyes peeled for Edition 8 in April…

Enthusiast Gaming partners with TikTok

Enthusiast Gaming, parent company of esports org Luminosity Gaming, last month announced a partnership with TikTok. TikTok will leverage Enthusiast’s platform of esports communities to further integrate the app into the esports and gaming sector.

Enthusiast Gaming recently announced the launch of esports news platform Upcomer, which is a merger between Upcomer and Daily Esports — both of which were already owned by Enthusiast.

WePlay Esports secures DAZN, GRID, 1xBet partnerships

Last month, media holding company and tournament organiser WePlay Esports announced three separate partnerships.

The first was with esports data platform GRID. WePlay will provide in-game data to GRID during its tournaments to support ‘fair and open play’.

The second to be announced was with sport streaming service DAZN to broadcast the 2021 WePlay Ultimate Fighting League on the platform.

Thirdly, WePlay Esports partnered with bookie 1xBet — despite previous controversy involving 1xBet. In 2019, the Gambling Commission wrote to Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC to cut ties with the bookie after a Sunday Times report surfaced connecting 1xBet to betting on children’s sports, cockfighting, and a pornographic casino. 1xBet was prohibited from operating in Britain after the report was released.

1xBet also agrees deal with ESL

Nevertheless, 1xBet also agreed a global betting partnership with ESL last month.

Check out the ESI 2021 Events Calendar

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