From sponsorships to industry-wide announcements, Insider Sport has you covered when it comes to the world of esports.

This week’s edition takes a look at MAD Lions’ Kappa deal, BLAST’s partnership with KitKat, and Gfinity co-launching a sim racing competition.

MAD Lions rebrands with Kappa apparel partnership

Spanish organisation MAD Lions has secured a partnership with Kappa, in which the Italian sportswear brand will distribute apparel to be used by the firm’s teams during competitions.

The agreement covers all of MAD Lions’ teams in titles which includes League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). Moreover, Kappa will produce lifestyle and streetwear merchandise for the organisation’s players and fans.

Chris Overholt, CEO of OverActive Media, the company which owns and operates MAD Lions, stated: “We are all really excited about welcoming Kappa to the OverActive family, and feel proud that given the company’s tremendous roots in Europe, it is a perfect fit for our three MAD Lions franchises. This marks a new era for our MAD Lions brand as we enter the lifestyle and merchandise world with a premier partner alongside our brand.”

Additionally, Kappa will assume control of MAD Lions’ e-commerce processes, from inventory to customer service during the partnership. The sportswear brand’s partnership with MAD Lions continues the growing trend of traditional sports partners crossing the bridge into esports. This week alone the likes of Puma and Hummel have secured deals with Gen G and Brøndby eSport respectively.

Philippe Sachet, CEO of Kappa Sport Iberia, added: “At Kappa we consider esports the entertainment of the present and the future. The agreement between both our brands is a natural progression in our history because we share the same values, fandom and entrepreneurship spirit. For this partnership, we will be dedicating resources and thinking to our street-style line called Authentic, and will be proud to dress the teams with the passion that is at the core of our business.”

BLAST Bounty Hunt ‘takes a break’ with KitKat

BLAST’s inaugural Dota 2 event, the BLAST Bounty Hunt, has secured a sponsorship agreement with KitKat leading up to the tournament’s debut.

As part of the deal, KitKat will be provided with branding and activation opportunities throughout the event, which sees some of Dota’s biggest organisations battle it out for a $150,000 prize pool.

Leo Matlock, Commercial Director for BLAST, commented: “We’re thrilled to add a brand as reputable and well-known as KitKat to our family of partners ahead of BLAST’s first Dota 2 tournament. KitKat is a global brand and we are proud that they have chosen BLAST to further develop their burgeoning esports strategy with a bespoke partnership that maximises our far-reaching and innovative tournament approach.”

Georg Fischer, Marketing Manager for KitKat in Europe, Middle East, North Africa at Nestlé, added: “KitKat has always been about a smile in the break and getting a fresh perspective which is also very relevant in gaming and the highly competitive esports environment. We made our first steps in esports earlier this year and were overwhelmed by the positive feedback from fans, teams and partners alike. 

G2 Arctic freshens up with Head & Shoulders deal

Spanish League of Legends team G2 Arctic has partnered with shampoo brand Head & Shoulders for its upcoming SuperLiga Orange campaign. 

Throughout the duration of the deal, which has not been revealed, G2 Esports’ sister organisation will participate in Head & Shoulders activations through collaborative content featuring the side’s players.

Luis Garcia, CEO of G2 Arctic, said: “This agreement represents a further step in our project and what better way to continue growing together than with H&S. At G2 Arctic we are ambitious and as such we need to move forward with the best and with agreements like this we are achieving it.

“H&S is a brand associated worldwide with the world of sports and leader in its category, so this agreement we believe is not only a huge step for us, but also for the esports sector as a whole. I am sure that thanks to H&S we are going to bring great moments to our fans.”

Fátima Collarte, Marketing Director of H&S in Spain, continued: “At H&S we have been a brand associated with sports for years, for us it is a natural step to enter the fascinating world of esports. We are very excited about this agreement and we are looking forward to entering this sector, and what better way than to do it with the help of a great team like G2 Arctic.”

G2 Arctic is a relatively new brand which was founded by G2 Esports in 2019, in partnership with Arctic Gaming. Head & Shoulders is the League of Legends team’s second sponsor, with the side previously agreeing a major partnership with Nabisco brand Chips Ahoy!

Gfinity and Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management launch the Esports Racing Championship

Esports tournament organiser Gfinity has agreed a five year deal with Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management to create a new simulation racing championship.

The aptly titled Esports Racing Championship (ERC), which will be jointly owned by the two parties, features two seasons every calendar year starting in 2020 with a yet to be decided date.

Al Tareq Al Ameri, CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management, commented: “ADMM has a strategic focus to develop and invest in premium racing ventures and virtual racing is an important pillar in this vision. The Esports Racing Championship will welcome the very best teams and drivers from around the world to compete on a global stage at the highest level.”

The rise of sim racing is in no small part to Gfinity, with the firm hosting the F1 Esports Series since its inception in 2018 along with the Forza Racing Championship. Additionally, the tournament organiser last month extended its sim racing deal with Formula 1 to last through to 2022, highlighting the recent popularity of the sector.

John Clarke, CEO of Gfinity, concluded: “Motorsports is a key pillar of our strategy and we are excited to be entering into a long-term partnership with Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management. We have a shared passion for the Esports Racing Championship and a desire to build a product that will sit alongside the biggest brands in motorsport.

“We have created a format that will excite and draw them into the ERC, giving sponsors and advertisers the opportunity to engage with this typically hard to reach audience.”