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5 Non-Gaming Brands Investing in Esports
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As a young industry, the growth of esports is measured by a wide range of metrics. Huge prize pools for professional esports tournaments show that developers are quite willing to invest in cultivating their game's esports scene.
But that could all just be to encourage more players to play their game(s). So perhaps a more reliable sign of growth is the continued interest in this nascent industry showed by non-endemic sponsors.
Wait, what are non-endemic sponsors? Can eat one ah?
Non-endemic sponsors in esports are brands that aren't directly related to esports. For examples, KFC, Gatsby, Toyota, etc.
In this article, we will explore some of the most surprising sponsorship in the Esports scene.
1) Head & Shoulders
Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev is a hero in Russia. Recently, he just became the Head & Shoulders brand ambassador in his country. The 19-year-old Virtus.Pro carry has taken Esports into another level in terms of sponsorship.
This sponsorship also marks Head & Shoulders’ first attempt into Esports through its brand ambassador program.
Before this, Head & Shoulders only picked traditional sports figures or celebrities as their ambassadors.
Kushnarev is featured in Head & Shoulders's newly launched promotion campaign for their Men Ultra product series.
It also means that esports are being more accepted into the mainstream.
AirAsia, the Malaysian Pride in SEA region has sponsored Team Saiyan, an esports organization. They are now the majority shareholder in Team Saiyan, renamed to AirAsia Saiyan.
AirAsia is also linked with Mineski Pro Team. They are now the special sponsor and exclusive airline partner for Mineski's Dota 2 squad that is captained by the legendary Chai "Mushi" Yee Fung.
We can tell that AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is surely a big esports fan!
Gaming actually requires a lot of energy, and chocolate bars can be the perfect snacks for gamers to eat and continue their 24/7 gaming.
FlyQuest Sports, an esports organization own by Wes Edens, has made an announcement about the sponsorship from Snickers.
Snickers is now the official chocolate (You heard me right, THE OFFICIAL CHOCOLATE) of FlyQuest. They will be showcased on several platforms of FlyQuest, at the Team House and fan activations in 2018.
Besides that, Snickers is ELEAGUE's official marketing partner. Snickers served as the league's "Official Chocolate Bar." The sponsorship includes Snickers featured on the ELEAGUE pre-game and post game show airing named "You're Not You When You're Hungry".
Esports fans now have one more food to think of when they need something to fill in their stomachs.
Cosmetic items in games can be very attractive. Some of them are extremely hard to acquire, unless you have tons of luck and skills. Or, you can use your magic (money) to acquire those cute items.
Mastercard is the one of most well-known global companies in payment solutions. According to the announcement on the League of Legends esports website, Mastercard has just become the first ever global event sponsor of League of Legends.
Prior this, Mastercard has sponsored some of the world's most prestigious sports tournaments, like The Australian Open and UEFA Champions League.
Mastercard's support for LoL esports will kick off with the 2018 World Championship and continue over the next few years. They will offer several lucky fans special experiences which include a behind scenes tour and rehearsal viewing of the Opening Ceremony of LoL's 2018 World Championship Final.
Esports fans can definitely expect more sponsorships this big in near future!
KFC is the second-largest restaurant chain after McDonald's. They have been involved in the esports scene for quite a long time.
Early this year, KFC and ESforce launched an tournament called KFC BATTLE in Russia. Looking back the history, the previous season brought together 250k visitors and participants.
In 2018, Dota 2 KFC Esports Championship was included for the first time in KFC BATTLE.
Other than that, KFC has signed a one-year sponsorship deal with Royal Never Give Up (RNG).
RNG is a Chinese organisation famous for its League of Legends team, and with this new partnership, KFC wants to continue their successful sponsorship agreement with Riot Games which beganback in 2015.
Fun fact: KFC is also one of the sponsors for our very own Alliance of Campus Esports (ACE). ACE is an eGG Network programme that strives to develop esports scene and talents among Malaysian and Singaporean university students. You can find more details of ACE here.
The finger-licking good fried chicken is surely a delicious meal for gamers after a long gaming session!
If you liked this article, you can read the second part of this series here!