American auto manufacturer Ford has been chosen as the presenting sponsor of the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) X Winter Split.
Specific activations and financial terms were not disclosed other than Ford being a presenting sponsor for all RLCS X Winter Majors and that there will be ‘in-game surprises’.
According to an official blog post by Psyonix, the company wanted a sponsor that reflected the same amount of drive in their own work and products as the world’s best Rocket League players.
Psyonix continued: “Ford is a sponsor that’s built tough and committed to helping us make sure the Regional Majors have something for everyone.”
In 2019, Ford launched its own esports organisation, Fordzilla, to compete in Forza Motorsport 7 and other racing titles. A year later, the auto manufacturer unveiled the Team Fordzilla P1, a virtual concept car that would be featured in a racing game in 2021. A full-scale model was created during the pandemic and revealed in December.
When Psyonix says ‘in-game surprises’, logic dictates that Ford could potentially design a new vehicle for Rocket League, adapt a current model in the game, or have specific items which could be made available to use.
After nine seasons, the Rocket League Championship Series league has been transformed into a longer, open events-based circuit beginning in 2021. Each split — Fall, Winter, and Spring — will feature three regional events apiece in North American and Europe, including a Major event at the end of each split.
The new circuit approach will have a total annual prize pool of more than $4.5 million (£3.6 million) across the entire season, and culminate in a larger Rocket League World Championship event.
Esports Insider says: Ford is wise to invest in the esports space, especially a title that is associated with unique vehicles. It will be interesting to see if the company will continue to act as a sponsor or decide to jump in and recruit a Rocket League team of its own in the near future.