Pierre Acuña is a Strategic Planner at Havas Sports & Entertainment, a company which helps to ‘create meaningful relationships between brands and people’.
Pierre recently helped broker the deal between Team Vitality and Adidas which saw the latter become the ‘Official Outfitter’ for the French esports team.
We spoke to Pierre about the deal, and which other apparel and sporting brands are well placed (name drop: Under Armour and Nike) to make a similar move into the space.
Esports Insider: Can you tell us about your involvement in the Team Vitality and Adidas deal, and how it came about?
Pierre: We helped Vitality in their quest to find a sportswear sponsor by setting up meetings with different brands.
Adidas was the brand that showed the strongest level of interest but not only for the deal. The brand also showed that it was invested in the story that they could create with Vitality. Adidas doesn’t care about visibility; they want to create content and offer new experiences to their consumers. Vitality wants the same thing.
“I’ve no doubt that the Vitality and Adidas deal will be a game-changer”
There was undoubted chemistry between them! We helped Vitality and Adidas negotiate the right deal for both parties. This was important in order to ensure that this deal will be historic and win-win for all involved.
Esports Insider: Will 2017 be the year that the big name orgs all partner with an ‘Official Outfitter’? What types of brand do you think would be well received in the space, Under Armour could be well suited….
Pierre: I’ve no doubt that the Vitality and Adidas deal will be a game-changer. Sports brands must take this opportunity very seriously.
When we look deeply into how esports teams manage their merchandising, it is very old school. A lot of additional revenue could easily be concocted. This is the financial aspect and then you have the engagement opportunity. As far as the mainstream is concerned, esports is new. Every sports brand wants to innovate, each wishes to be the pioneer in something.
“OpTic has something like 16 million digital subscribers across their platforms. How many are ready to buy a jersey? An official shirt? Maybe a hoodie? I don’t think it’s a bold claim to say a lot”
By investing in esports you could achieve your goals differently. Indeed, Under Armour is well suited but truth be told I thought that Nike would have been the first to invest…
Esports Insider: How major an opportunity does esports represent for clothing brands? For both pro teams and their fans, and in terms of creating apparel for the casual players. The sportswear market in the UK alone is expected to surpass £8bn by 2019…
Pierre: It is more than a big opportunity. It’s massive. Every esports team, even the smallest, has their own jersey and tomorrow with Adidas, Vitality is going to design new apparel; jackets, pants, shoes, you name it.
“Adidas wants to create stories with Vitality and one of the stories will be with athletes from other sports”
OpTic Gaming has something like 16 million digital subscribers across their platforms. How many are ready to buy a jersey? An official shirt? Maybe a hoodie? I don’t think it’s a bold claim to say a lot.
Esports Insider: Team Vitality’s owner mentioned that part of the deal would include players attending Adidas events…what events are these? Will this be Adidas introducing esports players to the mainstream or creating their own esports focused events?
Pierre: Like I said, Adidas wants to create stories with Vitality and one of the stories will be with athletes from other sports.
Adidas is a family and now Vitality is part of it. They want to create shared experiences, special moments, in order to generate the best value-added for this partnership.