Discover enters esports scene with PAX East partnership

U.S. credit card provider Discover has recently partnered with gaming and esports event PAX East. The partnership marks Discover’s first foray into the esports space and includes advertising during the weekend event, largely through Twitch streams.

Image credit: PAX

Discover will be the primary sponsor for several tournaments at the event, including TEKKEN 7, Super Smash Bros., and Magic: The Gathering. The partnership also includes a fan meet-and-greet opportunity with NRG’s Smash pro Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, as well as activation booths at the event. 

On the partnership, Discover Senior Vice President – Brand, Media & Insights Ryan Scully said, “The esports community continues to grow, which means more and more of our customers, and potential customers, are gathering on platforms like Twitch and at conventions like PAX East, so naturally we want to be there.”

The move from Discover, the fourth-largest credit card brand in the U.S., follows the trend of other big providers making their way into esports. Direct competitors in Visa and Mastercard have already been involved in esports for some time. Visa’s partnership with SK Gaming as their Official Payment Partner back in 2017 and Mastercard’s long-term global partnership with Riot Games last year demonstrates a continued and growing interest in esports from big financial institutions and credit card providers. 

PAX East kicked off on March 28th and you can catch all the announcements and action on the last day on their official Twitch channel from 10am EDT (3pm BST).

Esports Insider says: The partnership between the two very much seems like an ‘anything you can do’ approach from Discover as big financial institutions get involved in esports. Compared to the Visa and Mastercard deals, however, this very much appears to be Discover dipping their toes in the water. Partnering with a league or team is a huge commitment that of course comes with its own risks for both brand and budget. In what is a historically risk-averse industry, this partnership does make a lot of sense, and could very well be a litmus test for further moves down the track.