Each month, Esports Insider recaps the biggest esports sponsorships and partnerships from the month prior. Below is our list of the biggest partnerships from January 2023.
January saw a string of renewals, and new signings, as teams and tournament organisers get underway announcing sponsorship agreements for the year (and seasons) ahead. FaZe importantly had a good month, signing deals with Porsche and Nike at a time when the organisation is struggling financially.
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North American esports and gaming organisation FaZe Clan has announced a multi-year partnership with luxury sports car brand Porsche.
The partnership will see both parties work together on content creation, consumer products, web3 digital assets and goods, as well as esports integrations.
South Korean automotive marque KIA has renewed its existing partnership with the LEC (League of Legends EMEA Championship) for the 2023 season.
The renewal means KIA will remain the main automotive partner of the competition for a fifth consecutive year. The marque will continue to collaborate with the LEC on numerous activations including the Mic Check series that shares highlights from the competition.
KRAFTON, the developer of battle royale game series PUBG, has announced its founding partner teams for 2023 PUBG Esports season.
The selection process started in December 2022. PUBG Esports has revealed that eight teams awarded global partner status are Four Angry Men, 17Gaming, FaZe Clan, Gen.G, NAVI, Patrichor Road, Soniqs and Twisted Minds.
North American lifestyle brand and esports organisation FaZe Clan has announced a collaboration with apparel company Nike. The collaboration sees both parties join forces to produce an exclusive Nike x FaZe Clan colourway Lebron Nxxt Gen shoe.
With this partnership, FaZe Clan adds yet another global partner to its roster, joining the likes of Porsche, Drake’s OVO and McDonalds, among others. Nike is also no stranger to esports. The brand has previously collaborated with Riot Games to sponsor its League of Legends Pro League (LPL) and has other ongoing partnerships with organisations such as T1, which includes a line of apparel.
Game publisher Riot Games has announced a co-streaming partnership with Spanish esports organisations KOI and Team Heretics. As a result, both organisations will co-stream the LEC in Spanish for its 2023 Winter Split, which is set to commence on January 21st.
Co-streaming has been a major topic of conversation within the League of Legends community for the past few years, with leagues such as the LCS, LCK and LPL embracing the practice. Riot Games stated that the partnership with KOI and Team Heretics is part of a trial phase for LEC’s co-streaming programme. If it proves popular, co-streaming will be open to including more LEC team co-streams in different languages in the future.
The Saudi National Bank has announced a strategic partnership with financial company Mastercard and the Saudi Esports Federation (SEF).
Through the partnership, the three entities hope to “accelerate Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation and enhance its gaming and esports infrastructure,” according to a release. All parties will also explore and develop ‘innovative financial products and offerings’ that enhance the experience of gamers.
North American esports organisation Moist Esports has named gaming internet browser Opera GX as its new lead sponsor.
Opera GX users will be able to use exclusive Moist Esports backgrounds and access a special calendar of the team’s events through the browser. Opera GX branding will also feature on Moist Esports’ jerseys and live streams in the future.
Non-alcoholic beer brand Desperados 0.0% has been named a partner of the LEC (League of Legends EMEA Championship) in Germany. As a national partner, the beer brand will be integrated into the LEC German broadcast through a range of content. Exact details regarding what the content will entail have not been revealed.
This is the first partnership between a beer brand and the LEC. Previously the LCS, LEC’s North American variant, signed a partnership with Bud Light.
Spanish esports organisation Giants has renewed its sponsorship deal with Nestlé’s chocolate brand KitKat for a third consecutive year. KitKat will remain as Giants’ official global partner, having its logo displayed on the organisation’s jersey, social networks and streaming channels, and on its physical and digital media pipelines.
The deal was first established in 2021 when the organisation still held a naming rights deal with telecom Vodafone, being referred to as ‘Vodafone Giants’. In the same year, the organisation closed a deal to also promote Nestlé-owned brand Nesquik.
European esports organisation Team Vitality has announced a three-year partnership with Danish sportswear brand hummel. Via the deal, the two companies have launched a new collaborative campaign called ‘Let’s play together!’. The campaign is spearheaded by the launch of Team Vitality’s new esports jersey, with physical and digital activations throughout 2023 also planned.
The partnership sees hummel replace Adidas as the organisation’s sports apparel partner. The German sportswear company has collaborated with Team Vitality since 2017, with Adidas launching products such as limited edition sneakers as well as official jerseys.