“Sponsor Spotlight” is a monthly series here at Esports Insider that will highlight some of the top sponsorship or partnership stories from the previous month on ESI. The main aim of the series is to highlight some of the biggest things happening in esports, be those new non-endemic partnerships, long-term investments or extensions of major deals.
March saw Cloud9 enter a sponsorship deal with American telecommunications giant AT&T. Gamestop announced three separate deals with OpTic Gaming, Team Envy and compLexity. Then over in Europe, the LEC and Red Bull announced a partnership that will see Red Bull joining a growing number of partners for Riot Games’ premier European league. We’ll recap all these stories below in the March Edition of ‘Sponsor Spotlight’.
Cloud9 enters sponsorship deal with AT&T
In early March, Cloud9 entered another major partnership with its latest deal with AT&T. The American telecommunications giant joins the likes of BMW, Red Bull, Hyper X and OMEN by HP. The deal with AT&T has seen the pair work on a weekly series entitles ‘The Nines’, with AT&T acting as presenting sponsor.
Jack Etienne, CEO & Owner of Cloud9, had this to say at the time: “Teaming up with a company like AT&T, who has always prided itself on being ahead of the curve, is a tremendous moment for the whole C9 organization. With what AT&T is bringing us, we’re going to be able to bring the fans so much more – more content, more access, more memes, and more championships. I can’t wait to see the incredible things we’ll do together.”
— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) March 5, 2019
GameStop partner with OpTic Gaming, Team Envy and compLexity
March 27th was a busy day for GameStop as the retailer announced deals with both OpTic Gaming, Team Envy and compLexity. The deal with OpTic will see the pair working with players and personalities getting involved with GameStop Live clinics, aiding amateur players with their aspirations of making it into esports on a professional basis.
Ryan “OpTicJ” Musselman, President of Infinite Esports & Entertainment, had this to say in March: “GameStop has been a core part of our early retail gaming experiences. This partnership is a testament to our roots, and to OpTic Gaming becoming a powerhouse within the gaming and entertainment space.
Gamestop also announced a deal with Team Envy which was similar in nature to that of OpTic. The compLexity deal was slightly different, however, as it saw the retailer become the naming partner of the compLexity performance centre which will now be known as the GameStop Performance Center in a three-year deal.
Jason Lake, Founder and CEO of compLexity Gaming, spoke about the new centre at the time saying: “The opening of the GameStop Performance Center represents Complexity’s vision to further professionalize the esports industry… We are creating a world-class facility that will engage fans both in person and online and positively impact the entire industry for decades to come.”
LEC adds Red Bull as official energy drink supplier
The final deal we look at this month involves the LEC, Riot Games’ premier European League of Legends esports competition. Red Bull became the latest partner to join the LEC since its rebrand from the EU LCS at the start of the year. Red Bull joins the likes of Logitech G, Foot Locker, DXRacer, Kia, Alienware and Shell.
The deal has seen the pair work together on activations during live events like the recent Spring Finals with Red Bull returning for the Summer Split later in the year. The two also stated at the time to be working together to “develop grassroots League of Legends competitive events across Europe”, with the European Masters finals taking place next week in the UK, we might see what this part of the deal entails soon.