Each month, Esports Insider recaps the biggest esports sponsorships, partnerships and brand activations from the month prior. Below is our list of the biggest sponsorship and partnership news stories from September 2023.
September saw a stream of major sponsorship deals with large non-endemic brands, including McDonalds, Sky Broadband, Head & Shoulders, KFC, Opel, Crocs, Amazon Alexa, PUMA and more.
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Image credt: Guild Esports, Sky
UK-based esports organisation Guild Esports announced it had expanded its existing multi-million-pound sponsorship deal with telecommunications company Sky. According to a release, Guild Esports will receive an increased sponsorship fee for the second and third years of its three-year deal with Sky, which was first announced in September 2022.
Sky’s Sky Glass streaming TV has become the Official Television partner of the organisation as a result of the expansion. In addition, the Sky Glass brand and its streaming TVs will feature within the organisation’s London headquarters. Alongside equipping Guild Esports’ headquarters with Sky Glass devices, Sky has invested a ‘six-figure’ sum to refurbish the Sky Guild Gaming Centre.
The Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Singapore (MPL SG) announced three new key partners for the league’s sixth season. Fast food chain McDonald’s joined as presenting partner with shampoo brand Head & Shoulders being named an official partner of the league. Meanwhile, wellness brand OSIM International returned for a fourth season.
The MPL SG is a professional MLBB league in Singapore, created after the initial Singapore/Malaysia League split into two in 2021. The split left the Singaporean league recording significantly fewer viewers than its Malaysian counterpart, nevertheless, the several organisations within the league have placed well in subsequent international events.
saudi esports federation kfc
The Saudi Esports Federation announced a three-year partnership with American fast food company KFC.
The partnership will focus on supporting local esports talent in the region by providing more opportunities to advance to international esports events. Moreover, a release added that the agreement will support women’s esports initiatives through the First Female Saudi E-League.
Spanish esports organisation Giants Gaming announced a partnership with German car manufacturer Opel, a part of the Stellantis group of companies.
The esports organisation will work together with Opel for the launch of the new Opel Corsa Electric in Spain. As a result, the two companies will work on activations and promotions for the new car throughout the year.
Image credit: Gen.G, Crocs
Multinational esports organisation Gen.G joined forces once again with footwear brand Crocs to present the latest edition of Crocs World, a metaverse activation taking place on Roblox and ZEPETO platforms. The Crocs World activation sees fans taking part in a competition which involves designing a pair of Crocs.
The winning design will become a virtual item for other ZEPETO users to purchase. In addition, users can also win the platform’s ZEM currency, and other virtual items for their avatars. The collaboration marks a major non-endemic returning partner for Gen.G; this is the second such activation Crocs has struck with the esports organisation after the footwear brand first partnered with Gen.G in September 2022.
Image credit: Esports Charts
Esports data platform Esports Charts teamed up with Amazon’s virtual assistant technology Alexa to make its esports data more widely available.
As a result, Esports Charts will provide information to Alexa so users can ask relevant questions regarding esports tournaments. Asking Alexa questions such as ‘where is VALORANT Champions 2023?’ or ‘When is the next ESL Impact League?’ were provided as examples of what the partnership will enable Alexa customers to do.
(ESI Illustration) Image credit: NBPA, NBA 2K League
Professional basketball esports league NBA 2K League announced a marketing partnership with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA). As a result, NBA players will be able to participate in various marketing activations to promote the NBA 2K League.
The NBA 2K League said the new partnership aims to increase awareness of the league among the NBA fanbase. NBA players can now promote the league through activations related to the esports league, such as team promotions with Players.
(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Evil Geniuses
North American esports organisation Evil Geniuses expanded its partnership with cryptocurrency betting platform Thunderpick to include its Dota 2 roster. In May, Thunderpick became a Marquee Partner for all of Evil Geniuses’ CS:GO teams.
The two parties will join forces to create exclusive team content and fan activations as Evil Geniuses gets ready for The International 12, Dota 2’s world championship, this October. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
herman miller gaming g2
Global furniture manufacturer Herman Miller (MillerKnoll) and esports organisation G2 Esports announced a partnership focused on co-creating a custom-branded gaming chair. The new product is a Herman Miller Gaming Embody model featuring custom G2 branding.
Herman Miller Gaming is the official division of furniture brand Herman Miller focused on producing gaming furniture. The gaming division was launched in 2020 through a partnership with peripherals brand Logitech G.
Image credit: DUX/PUMA
Spanish sports and esports club DUX announced a partnership with sports brand PUMA for two seasons. As a result, PUMA will be the new official technical sponsor of the club and will be featured across its esports and sports divisions.
PUMA will ‘equip’ the players of DUX Logroño, a women’s football team competing in the Spanish second division, and DUX’s esports athletes. It was not disclosed to what extent Puma will equip DUX, however, the images indicate it will at least include jersey integration. In addition, PUMA will gain a prominent presence in the club’s content.
Image credit: FaZe Clan
North American esports organisation FaZe Clan announced it will host an on-site activation at the upcoming Porsche Rennsport Reunion event. In collaboration with the German automotive marque, the FaZe Arcade will feature a range of racing simulators and a Porsche 911 car wrapped with a FaZe-inspired livery.
The Rennsport Reunion takes place from September 28th to October 1st at the Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca racetrack and celebrates the Porsche brand. In addition to the FaZe Arcade, a number of FaZe Clan ambassadors will attend the event. FaZe Clan first partnered with Porsche in January 2023.
Image credit: Microsoft / Shopify Rebellion
North American esports organisations Moist Esports and Shopify Rebellion joined forces to field a joint team for VALORANT Challengers North America. The two organisations have co-created a team called MxS, with its own branding and social media. The organisations will also work together on further developments.
MxS was officially announced via social media with a short release and a video detailing the new move. In the video, Ludwig Ahgren, Co-Owner of Moist Esports noted that one of the reasons for the move was that players from Moist Moguls, the VALORANT roster of Moist Esports, and players from Shopify Rebellion, saw success as a mixed roster called Lobster Fishers.