BLAST, the company behind the BLAST Premier series for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, has announced a new apparel collaboration with the Smiley Company.
This is the first move into esports for the Smiley brand, which was formed in 1972 and manages the official smiley face iconography first introduced all those years ago.
The BLAST x Smiley Collection consists of a t-shirt, hoodie, and bucket hat, each with a pairing of the two brands. The line is available now via the BLAST online shop and will be sold throughout the month of June.
Matt Winton, Head of Partnerships at the Smiley Company, commented in a release: “In this competitive and rapidly changing market, esports and licensed brands are benefiting enormously from collaboration. By creating rich, connected, and personalised experiences, brand collaborations keep the esports community engaged, as part of a broader franchise development strategy. This is not just increasing the financial rewards for esports companies, but also creating the captivating content that is enhancing the gamer lifestyle.”
BLAST previously collaborated with apparel brand Champion earlier this year, and has teased further lifestyle collaborations to come in 2020. The company also recently introduced the BLAST Bounty Hunt, its first Dota 2 competition, which begins today and features partnerships with KitKat, Betway, and SteelSeries.
Leo Matlock, Commercial Director for BLAST, added: “Esports is a huge passion point for young people, as a core part of a diverse range of interests. We are excited to team up with Smiley to bring out this positive collection, which will not only appeal to esports fans but all lovers of street fashion. Smiley has worked with a number of highly respectable brands and we’re looking forward to offering the esports community something they can wear while they enjoy BLAST’s live esports entertainment and when they socialise.”
Esports Insider says: Smiley is an unexpected brand to see in this industry, but if anything, this collaboration shows just how wide the esports umbrella has become — and how appealing it can be for brands of all shapes and sizes.