European esports company Nicecactus and French Nike licensee Ekinsport have agreed on a partnership that will see the brands collaborate on upcoming esports projects.
As a result, both entities will launch EkinArena, a series of tournaments in 10 esports titles including FIFA22, TrackMania, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros, Rocket League, and Fortnite.
According to the release, the best players in the tournaments will receive prizes ranging from store discounts on Nike items, gift cards, and a PlayStation 5 console.
The partnership, which has been in motion since August, kicked off with French esports team BMS and Nike collaborating on a limited-edition clothing collection. The range reportedly sold out in 72 hours.
Ekinsport is France’s largest Nike licensee, as well as the first Nike Team Sport retailer in France. The company has been providing Nike apparel to professional and amateur sports clubs in France for more than 10 years.
Mike Hessabi, CEO of Nicecactus added: “The EkinArena has proven to be the ideal model for how to create a continuous online gaming space for brands. we are particularly proud of our ability to deliver tournaments across multiple games and formats, showing our unparalleled versatility in the branded tournaments space.”
Nike has been cooperating with esports teams for a couple of years, however, the brand’s most high-profile efforts have been tied to other markets. Most notably, Nike is the official equipment supplier of the LPL, China’s League of Legends series. The sportswear brand has also teamed up with German organisation SK Gaming and sports-focused esports organisation NEO.
Esports Insider says: This cooperation marks the first time Nike has stepped into France’s esports scene, which has largely been dominated by Adidas through its high-profile Vitality partnership. This entry into the market should bolster the brand reputation, whilst also opening itself up as a potential partner for French esports teams.