Each month, Esports Insider recaps the biggest esports sponsorships and partnerships from the month prior. Below is our list of the biggest partnerships from June 2023.
June 2023 saw major deals with non-endemic brands, including Burger King, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Mastercard, Spotify and more.
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Soft drinks conglomerate Coca-Cola collaborated with games developer Riot Games to create a new limited-edition flavour of the beverage in collaboration with League of Legends.
The deal marks the first time the drinks company has created a flavour with a gaming company, and is accompanied by in-game missions and emotes in League of Legends. Coca-Cola is also dropping real-life Nexus crystals in cities worldwide including Los Angeles, Shanghai and Mexico City.
Spanish esports organisation Giants Gaming renewed its partnership with fast food franchise chain Burger King. The partnership, which is focused on the restaurant chain’s Spanish branch, will see Burger King’s logo be featured on the front of Giants jerseys, as well as on social media.
Both companies will also host in-person activations with Burger King featured as a Global Partner for Giants. Giants and Burger King first partnered in 2022 and the fast food brand has since become one of Giants’ more prominent partners.
Games publisher Riot Games and financial company Mastercard expanded their multi-year global esports partnership. As a result, Mastercard will now support global events on the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT), in addition to League of Legends esports.
Mastercard’s logo has already become a part of the ongoing VCT Masters broadcasts in Tokyo, Japan, with more activations set to appear later this summer at VCT Champions in Los Angeles, California.
The US Army National Guard partnered with Kansas City-based esports organisation KC Pioneers. The two parties will collaborate to bring six events to the United States Midwest.
Competing players will also be able to explore opportunities in the National Guard, such as jobs in cybersecurity, IT, logistics and more, the two parties said in a release. The stated aim is to bring their respective communities together so that aspiring gamers have a platform to showcase their talents.
Esports tournament organiser IO Esports and platform operator Epulze secured a partnership with fashion brand H&M for Dota 2’s Bali Major. The partnership will see H&M provide outfits for on-screen talent and panel members during the event.
The brand will also have a giveaway in which fans in Singapore and the Philippines can win VIP tickets to the competition. According to a release, the partnership aims to ‘elevate the event to new heights’, hinting that further activations could take place during the competition. Aside from the giveaway, no further plans have been disclosed.
Tournament organiser ESL Gaming, part of the ESL FACEIT Group, announced the renewal of its partnership with audio streaming service Spotify. They first partnered in July 2022.
The partnership will focus on Counter-Strike (CS) and will feature the Spotify podcast Talking Counter, as well as additional esports and CS-related content. Spotify will also sponsor ESL Meisterschaft and become a German broadcast partner for the ESL Pro Tour.
French esports organisation Team Vitality announced a two-year partnership with South Korean automotive marque KIA. As a result of the deal, the two parties will produce a range of content that attempts to engage with fans via a campaign known as ‘The Lane of Movement.’
Primarily focused on League of Legends, KIA will also act as the official supplier of Team Vitality’s LFL and LEC rosters. Team Vitality is the only European organisation to partner with the marque, though KIA has been plenty active in the esports sector in the past. This also isn’t the first time Team Vitality has partnered with KIA. In July 2021, the two parties first joined forces to promote a new range of electric vehicles.
Dota 2 Bali Major organisers IO Esports and EPULZE announced gambling site 1xBet as the event’s presenting partner. DXRacer was additionally named official chair partner. As presenting partner, 1xBet will provide a range of activations and engagements during the finals, including promotions and interactive experiences, according to a release.
The Bali Major is the last Major tournament in the current Dota Pro Circuit season, and the first Dota 2 Major ever to be played in Indonesia. 1xBet, a controversial yet prolific betting sponsor in sports and esports, will hold a number of activations during the finals of the event, such as promotions and other experiences, though exact details have not yet been disclosed.
The Brazilian League of Legends Championship (CBLOL) announced a partnership with soft drink brand and manufacturer Coca-Cola.
As part of the deal, CBLOL will promote Coca-Cola’s limited-edition flavour inspired by League of Legends. The partnership will take place throughout the second split of its 2023 season. In addition to the Coca-Cola logo appearing on CBLOL broadcasts and social media channels, the two parties will collaborate to create a range of digital activations for fans.
North American beverage and food corporation PepsiCo announced a partnership with Saudi Arabian esports and gaming festival Gamers8. PepsiCo will be the exclusive water, beverage and snack partner for the event.
As a result, PepsiCo brands Aquafina, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Rockstar Energy and Doritos will all be available during the event. PepsiCo will provide its beverage and snack brands once again after working with the Saudi Esports Federation on the inaugural edition of the festival in 2022. The two parties noted that there will be over 1.5m bottles of Aquafina water handed out to festival visitors free of charge during the summer.
Multinational esports organisation Gen.G announced a partnership with English football club Manchester City. As part of the deal, both entities will work together to create unique experiences and engagement opportunities for their fans, including events in South Korea and the UK.
The partnership follows Man City’s recent announcement regarding its visit to Seoul, South Korea, as part of its preseason preparations for the 2023/24 season. According to a release, the collaboration presents an additional opportunity for both entities to enhance and maximise the club’s presence in Asia.
North American esports organisation Luminosity Gaming and Club Deportivo Guadalajara, better known as Mexican football club Chivas, have announced a major multi-year esports partnership. The collaboration sees the creation of a new co-branded esports property called LG Chivas. The division will initially focus on the Apex Legends esports scene, rebranding Luminosity’s current North American ALGS team.
Outside of the launch of a co-branded team property, the partnership will also see Luminosity gain access to Chivas’ esports facilities at the Akron Stadium in Zapopan, Mexico. Luminosity said the deal marks an ‘invaluable opportunity’ for it to expand its footprint in the LATAM region, using Chivas’ popular name and fanbase as leverage.