Lighter manufacturer Zippo has entered the ever-growing world of esports by sponsoring North American organisation Panda Global.
How long the brand stays in the industry is dependent on how fruitful the sponsorship ends up being – it’ll be the exclusive hardwarmer provider of the gaming organisation to begin with, though.
Zippo is just one of Panda Global’s non-endemic sponsors, joining the ranks of Funimation – an entertainment studio – and Japanese technology company Toshiba. Not only that, GEICO sponsored the esports organisation in 2017, with other sponsors including Meta Threads (which was recently acquired by UMG), HyperX, and Twitch.
Alan Bunney, Managing Director, Panda Global gave a statement to The Esports Observer: “Zippo marks the third non-endemic brand that Panda Global has exclusively brought into esports, and the fourth non-endemic brand that is on our jerseys today. We know at PG that we can continue to push esports into the next level, we’re both humbled and proud to know that so many brands trust us to do so.”
“When approaching non-endemic brands I think the two Ps are extremely important: Passion and professionalism. I’m a physician and David Wu (our cofounder) is a CPA who worked in Fortune 500 companies before, so I think we bring a level of professionalism from outside the industry that helps establish ourselves as individuals they can trust,” Bunny said regarding his company’s ability to bring non-endemic brands into the industry. “PG does things differently than other esports teams and we think that is evident at every level of our organization. From the way we choose players to the way we present ourselves, we have our own way of moving forward.”
The @Zippo_Gaming handwarmer is a game changer for cold hands 🔥
+5 heat settings
+6 hour battery
+USB device charger
— Panda Global® (@PandaGlobalPG) March 29, 2018
“When we connected to Zippo for their electronic hand warmers we were very excited for a superior alternative,” Bunney continued. “The team at Zippo is also keen on learning about esports as we help them navigate the space through Panda Global.”
The organisation competes in multiple titles, though many of the titles fall within the fighting game community. It currently boasts competitors in games such as Super Smash Bros., Street Fighter V, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Splatoon, and Rivals of Aether.
Esports Insider says: This makes it another huge new non-endemic partner entering esports in the space of a few days. Lynx and now Zippo are two heavyweights and their involvement can only be a positive for the continued growth of the industry. This is great news for Panda Global too.