German automobile manufacturer Audi has entered partnerships with German FIFA teams FOKUS CLAN and Schanzer Esports, the esports arm of FC Ingolstadt 04.
FOKUS CLAN’s partnership with Audi was initiated with involvement from STARK eSports, and will see the inclusion of Audi’s branding on the team’s apparel and social channels. Activations are also planned for the future.
The partnership with the newly-announced Schanzer Esports is in cooperation with electronics reseller Media Markt. The club will compete in the VBL Club Championship from January 2019 as part of the Virtual Bundesliga. STARK eSports represents and manages Schanzer Esports’ two competitors.
Franz Spitzauer, Managing Director of Sports & Finance at FC Ingolstadt 04 discussed the club’s entrance into esports: “The subject of eSports has been occupying us for a while. After very positive talks with Audi and the media market, we are now starting into this exciting new business area. We look forward to the new challenges in this area. However, we deal exclusively with the topic of football in the world of digital gaming.”
Audi first entered the esports industry when it partnered with RFRSH Entertainment’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive brand, Astralis, in January 2017. It later sponsored Bayern Ballers Gaming, a team that competes in the NBA 2K League.
Thomas Glas, Head of Sports Marketing at Audi discussed the company’s presence in the industry: “Esports opens up new and exciting marketing opportunities for us. Esports is dynamic and far more flexible than many traditional sports. This enables us to shape many things and actively participate in their further development. The young and, above all, digital and technology-savvy target group with an enormous reach and strong global networking is interesting. This makes a commitment to esports particularly attractive for Audi and ideally complements our digital communication strategy.”
Earlier this month, FOKUS CLAN found its first partner in the form of Intersnack’s crisp brand, funny-frisch. Marketing agency Infront helped to form the partnership, which includes the brand’s logo being present on FOKUS CLAN’s jersey and digital channels.
Esports Insider says: Another football club entering esports is always welcome, and it’s not too surprising that FIFA is the game of choice for the club. What is surprising, however, is the partnership with Audi – for both Schanzer Esports and FOKUS CLAN. STARK eSports proves time and time again that it’s a good agency when partnerships are involved.