Key esports sponsorships and partnerships: February 2023
Each month, Esports Insider recaps the biggest esports sponsorships and partnerships from the month prior. Below is our list of the biggest partnerships from February 2022.
February 2023 saw
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GRID and Riot Games launch VALORANT Data Portal
Gaming data company GRID Esports and publisher Riot Games have launched the VALORANT Data Portal (VDP), a new home for the title’s in-game data.
The VALORANT Data Portal will be available to all 30 VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) partner teams. Claimed to be a first-of-its-kind platform for the FPS scene, the VDP enables teams to obtain data from VCT matches and private scrims.
Generation Esports partners with Nintendo for middle school esports
Scholastic-focused esports platform Generation Esports has announced a large-scale partnership with game developer and publisher Nintendo. The deal will see Generation Esports add Nintendo titles Splatoon 3, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to its Middle School Esports League product.
Also this month, Nintendo partnered with UK esports body National Student Esports (NSE) to bring Splatoon 3, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe to its collegiate platform.
PUBG Mobile announces esports partnership programme
PUBG Mobile has announced the PUBG Mobile Partnership Program for its esports scene. The new format will first be introduced in Southeast Asia.
The programme guarantees slots in the PUBG Mobile Pro League (PMPL) and PUBG Mobile Super League (PMSL) for the partner organisations’ respective regions. All teams in the partnership programme will have a fixed slot in PMSL, regardless of PMPL placement. It has yet to be announced which teams have been made partners of the programme.
Alpine doubles down on esports with 2023 sim racing partners, plans
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. A further $40,000 worth of Alpine Fan Tokens is available for viewers to earn through watching.
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.
Williams Racing esports division featured in Gulf partnership
Formula One team Williams Racing has announced a multi-year partnership with global oil manufacturer Gulf Oil International. Alongside supporting the team and its driver academy, Gulf will also join forces with Williams Esports, the team’s sim racing division.
According to a release, the Gulf logo will appear on the apparel of Williams Esports alongside its other partners that include sim racing hardware manufacturer Fanatec and peripherals brand Razer. Additionally, the collaboration between Williams Racing and Gulf will allow the oil manufacturer to reach new audiences through a range of activations. Details on the activations were not revealed.
Ghost Gaming joins forces with XP League to support youth development
North American esports organisation Ghost Gaming has announced a partnership with youth esports league XP League. The two parties will collaborate to provide XP League players with the opportunity to represent the organisation across a range of titles.
Select teams from XP League locations across the South East of the United States will compete as Ghost Gaming Academy teams. Alongside opportunities to represent the organisation, the partnership includes youth development programmes, coaching sessions, meet-and-greets and pro-am play for aspiring players.
G2 Esports teams up with Blacklist International; launches Wild Rift team
European esports organisation G2 Esports has partnered with Philippine-based esports and gaming organisation Blacklist International. The two companies have created a joint League of Legends: Wild Rift team called G2 Blacklist that will operate out of the Philippines. The new team already has a roster as well as a visual identity that reflects both G2 Esports and Blacklist design cues.
According to Tier One Entertainment, the partnership with G2 Esports is part of a strategy prioritising partnerships with high-profile organisations that share its vision. G2, as one of the world’s most-known organisations, will enter the SEA market, and Tier One will get to work with a high-profile partner within the region.
TSM cooks up multi-year partnership with Jersey Mike’s
North American esports organisation TSM has announced a multi-year partnership with sandwich chain Jersey Mike’s to become the organisation’s official Sub Sandwich. The two parties will work together on branding and content production in order to provide fans with a suite of offerings. Specifically, TSM and Jersey Mike’s will offer fans sweepstakes for prizes, as well as launch a ‘Subs for Subs’ initiative.
Throughout the campaign, Jersey Mike’s will also gift thousands of subscriptions and free subs to up-and-coming Twitch streamers to grow their audiences and help them become full-time content creators. A custom-crafted Jersey Mike’s Blitz Arena will be added to TSM’s esports coaching app Blitz.
Skyesports and Microsoft launch Grand Slam event in New Delhi
Indian esports and gaming company Skyesports has partnered with Microsoft to co-launch the third season of the Windows 11 Skyesports Grand Slam. The multi-title event, set to occur February 16th – 17th, will take place at the Pragati Maidan convention centre in New Delhi, India.
Besides Microsoft being named the title sponsor, Skyesports has also teamed up with hardware brand AMD as the ‘powered by’ sponsor for the tournament. Both Microsoft and AMD will host a number of activations, as well as giveaways for fans attending the event in person.
In addition, the Grand Slam will bring back Skyesports’ all-female esports IP, the Skyesports Luna, as an offline VALORANT tournament — the first of its kind in India. The release also states that players will compete in other esports titles as well, but doesn’t explicitly mention which ones.
Ally Financial launches $40,000 women’s Rocket League tournament as part of major partnership
Rocket League Esports and financial services company Ally Financial have announced the Ally Women’s Open, a new women’s tournament featuring Rocket League. The Ally Women’s Open, which is part of a wider partnership between the two parties, will take place in March with a $40,000 (~£33,000) prize pool spread equally across Europe and North America.
The collaboration comes as part of a wider sponsorship deal between Ally and Rocket League Esports for the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS), first revealed in February 2023 but not detailed until now. That partnership sees Ally become an official sponsor of the North American RLCS, and also includes branding in RLCS broadcasts during the Winter and Spring splits.
Two Wolves Esports teams set to compete as Shenzhen Wolves
Wolves Esports, the esports division of football club Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, has announced that its FIFA Online and PUBG Mobile teams will compete as Shenzhen Wolves in the future.
The move is a result of a partnership between Wolves and the Nanshan District Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports in Shenzhen. The teams will carry Shenzhen and Nanshan District branding on their jerseys and compete in regional leagues.