Sky-operated OTT (over-the-top) service WOW has become a naming partner of the Virtual Bundesliga (VBL), officially becoming the WOW Virtual Bundesliga.
The WOW logo will be featured in all branding related to all activities related to the WOW Virtual Bundesliga’s esports competition, including digital communications, offline events and additional areas of competition promotion. WOW has also acquired a comprehensive rights package and will broadcast key moments in a range of content formats.
The WOW Virtual Bundesliga is an official EA SPORTS FC esports competition for clubs from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. Created in 2012, DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga was the first professional football league to have its esports competition. The DFL Members Assembly incorporated Virtual Bundesliga as an efootball competition of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 in the DFL statutes in May 2022, and its increasing popularity led to the launch of the VBL Club Championship.
Caterina Preti, Senior Vice President OTT at Sky Deutschland., commented: “The partnership with the Virtual Bundesliga will make WOW’s excellent streaming service even better known in the esports segment.
“Gaming and esports are highly relevant for our target group and WOW offers the perfect streaming content for them. The WOW team is passionate about all the Bundesliga clubs – and that of course includes the virtual teams. This is why we see a strong basis for profitable involvement in the Virtual Bundesliga environment.”
The VBL Club Championship by WOW kicked off its latest season on 18th and 19th November 2023 with a total of 35 clubs.
Together with the top players of the VBL Open, an open amateur competition, the best participants will compete in the VBL Grand Final, which will take place in April 2024, featuring a total prize pool of €100,000 (~£86,148) and the title of the German eFootball champion.
With this partnership, WOW and the DFL are looking to attract the young and dynamic demographic in esports. Even though the OTT service is a new player in the esports space, the parent company Sky has been active since 2022, having recently expanded its multi-million-pound sponsorship deal with UK-based esports organisation Guild Esports.