Alpine Esports, the esports arm of F1 racing team Alpine, has announced several commercial partnerships and revealed this year’s plans for its sim racing competition Alpine Esports Series.
The Alpine Esports Series will feature a prize pool of $60,000 (~£49,900) worth of Alpine Fan Tokens, with cryptocurrency exchange Binance returning as headline sponsor.
Alpine Esports Series is a sim racing competition hosted in Assetto Corsa Competizione. In addition to running its own tournament series, Alpine Esports also fields teams in other major sim racing tournaments, including Virtual Le Mans and the F1 Esports Series.
Anyone that owns Assetto Corsa and the GT4 expansion pack can participate in Alpine Esports Series’ qualifiers for 2023, which start March 27th. Players compete for a share of the crypto token prize pool plus a driving experience, hardware and merch.
Alpine Esports is also set to offer an additional $40,000 (~£33,000) in fan token bundles and free NFTs for viewers watching the series online, which Alpine claims helped boost viewership last year.
Alongside Binance as its Series sponsor, Alpine Esports’ competitive arm announced new partnerships with smart contract blockchain platform QAN (Official Blockchain Partner), VR/XR tech company Varjo, eye-tracking tech brand Tobii, and mobile racing game developer The Digital Factory.
Gaming charity Special Effect was also announced as its Official Charity Partner. The organisation additionally revealed a partnership renewal with gaming glasses manufacturer Shamir. Alpine Esports already counts Binance, BenQ, Trak Racer, Race Clutch and ADEPT as existing partners.
Unveiled live during an expo at Alpine F1’s facilities in Enstone, England, Alpine Esports also revealed its new content studio, the Alpine Esports Content Room ‘Powered by QAN’. Situated in Alpine’s historic F1 factory, the studio will support immersive content and livestreams from its drivers and ambassadors.
Through a focus on content and unique activations, Alpine Esports is trying to make its partnerships go beyond simply slapping logos on cars, Guillaume Vergnas, Head of Esports, Gaming & Web3 at Alpine, told Esports Insider.
“I think there’s more options for storytelling in sim racing because it’s close to real racing, there’s a crossover between the two,” Vergnas said. “You can be good at FIFA, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be good on a real football pitch.
“[But] we have Max Verstappen, a driver who’s always done sim racing and went to F1, Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon is a sim racer as well. So we have interesting stories.”
Vergnas said that having its own sim racing competition, alongside its competitive teams, grants Alpine Esports much more freedom to activate for its partners. “Our graphic designers are going to create cool liveries [in-game cosmetics], start our own show to create content and engage people, and get them to participate as players and viewers.”
He said Alpine will gamify the series to make interacting with sponsors more engaging, and help increase viewership. “We wanted to create something cool for our sponsors for them to get their moment.”
As part of the expo, Alpine Esports also announced a series of new roster line-ups across sim racing titles which, together with the new content studio and season, represent a doubling down by Alpine on its investment in esports.
“We’ve thought so far it’s been worth it,” Vergnas said of the company’s sim racing series. “Numbers are not skyrocketing into the millions, but it’s increasing — we try to grow the show every time, and for me it’s been an [attractive] development.”