Shanghai-based Newbee Esports Club recently announced two new partnerships with a heavy focus on merchandise and fan benefits. The two deals with Li-Ning and Bank of Shanghai will see a host of new products become available to fans across the globe.
The partnership with Chinese athletic wear company Li-Ning is specifically for Newbee’s Dota 2 team, and comes with the announcement of a new Newbee brand shoe. The team announced the partnership via Twitter, stating “Starting from today, Li-Ning becomes Newbee Esports Club Dota 2 Department’s official sponsor. There will be more Newbee x Li-Ning products coming soon.”
Li-Ning’s venture with Newbee presents another step into the Chinese esports scene for the clothing company which has included a partnership with Royal Never Give Up‘s Dota 2 side, and an apparel line with Edward Gaming.
Additionally, Newbee’s broader partnership with Bank of Shanghai will see the two work closely together across all their teams. The new agreement will also see the release of a Newbee branded Bank of Shanghai debit card and a range of new sponsored goods to come. The Newbee Twitter shared the news, announcing “Partnership with Bank of Shanghai. We are going to provide great services and merchandises [sic] to our fans who are card holders. There are more benefits going to be revealed soon.”
Esports Insider says: These two partnerships are quite important for Newbee, who despite their historical successes, are struggling to perform. A far cry from their Dota 2 team’s win at The International 2014, the partnership and merchandising deals provide an important means of brand building. Becoming cash flow positive is imperative and a major challenge for esports organisations currently in the scene. The need for building multiple revenue streams and reducing reliance on investment and VC money has seen some teams turn to merchandise, fashion, and streetwear as a feasible option. Mind you, getting wins up on the board is what helps build your brand more than anything, and that remains to be seen.