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Ronaldinho makes footballing return with GAMING1’s Circus brand

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Ronaldinho makes footballing return with GAMING1’s Circus brand
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Football icon to feature in Circus Cup match in September

 Ronaldinho, the 2005 FIFA World Player of the Year, will take part in a unique gala match between KAA Gent and Standard de Liège on 21st of September, in the Ghelamco Arena in Ghent, Belgium.

Now regarded as one of the most technically gifted players football has ever seen, Ronaldinho will return to play for 20 minutes with each team in a match that has been dubbed The Circus Cup. The Brazilian will also be joined by Standard de Liège and KAA Gent legends, with Gunther Schepens and Jean-Francois Gillet captaining both sides.

The match is an initiative by the Belgian gaming brand Circus, a historic sponsor of Standard de Liège and also KAA Gent’s partner since the start of the season.

The Circus Cup is seen as a way of enhancing the company’s involvement in both football clubs, with Circus aiming to be more than just a financial investor for its teams. The 20,000-seater stadium will operate at full capacity with the event expected to sell out, as 15,000 supporters have already registered their interest.

Supporters of both clubs can attend the match for free, with Circus promising the winning team a prize that they can add to their future tifo. Once the game ends, fans will be able to vote for which prize they want, whether it’s an XXXL flag, a statue of a club legend or a fresco in the stadium.

Part of GAMING1, Circus is a Belgian sports betting brand that has grown rapidly in recent times, illustrated by its signing of one of the most well-known names in the sports industry.

Discussing the deal, Circus CEO, Emmanuel Mewissen said: “We’re extremely proud of our partnership with Ronaldinho, one of the best footballers of this – or the last – century.

“Everyone knows his iconic smile, his amazing technique, and inimitable feints. Playfulness is one of Circus’ core values, so Ronaldinho is a perfect match. We want to link that playfulness to being able to have fun in a responsible way.

“I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that we can’t wait for him to make a return to football in the Circus Cup. It’s bound to be a fantastic spectacle with Ronaldinho swapping shirts and playing for both teams.”

Former professional footballer, Ronaldinho added: “It’s very exciting for me to be teaming up with such a prestigious Belgium company. I’m also looking forward to the Circus Cup match, a great chance to show what I can still do.

“But overall, this cooperation with Circus in Belgium is more than just about football, it’s an ideal collaboration because I see a lot of similarity between the brand’s personality and my own, especially its playfulness.

“I’ve always been about play but pushing this message and tying a meaningful story to it makes a lot of sense, especially regard responsible play. I believe it can have a hugely positive impact on people watching.”

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Aviatrix finds new home in Brazil with Casa de Apostas

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 Aviatrix, the award-winning crash game, continues to expand its following in Brazil, this time by partnering with one of the country’s most respected operators, Casa de Apostas.

Casa de Apostas was one of the first online betting platforms in Brazil. It was the first to sponsor major clubs in the country and today it is the only one in its segment to name two World Cup Arenas: Casa de Apostas Arena Fonte Nova – Salvador / BA; and Casa de Apostas Arena das Dunas – Natal / RN. And now it offers its players access to Aviatrix.

The innovative crash game is not only hugely popular in Brazil, but also has a strong track record appealing to players worldwide.

Gabriela Novello, Head of Business Development LATAM at Aviatrix, said: “Casa de Apostas is an operator whose serious trajectory in the national market we have been following closely. We are confident that with Aviatrix’s partnership, we can deliver significant value to Betting House players through one of the most popular online casino games of the moment.”

Hans Schleier, COO at Casa de Apostas, added: “We want the best for our players, and that means adding the most exciting new games on the market. Aviatrix absolutely fits into that category. The game is already growing rapidly in Brazil and our players have been requesting it. It’s been a pleasure working with the Aviatrix team to bring this world-class title to our platform.”

Aviatrix works tirelessly to deliver the very best experience to players across Brazil. This included the recent launch of a new game splash screen to celebrate the São João festival.

 

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First-ever Olympic Esports Games to take place in 2025; massive opportunity for Indian esports

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Following the IOC’s partnership with the NOC of Saudi Arabia to host the inaugural Olympic Esports Games, India’s growing esports sector has an opportunity to prove its mettle on the international stage and flourish

In a historic move, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that the inaugural Olympic Esports Games will take place in Saudi Arabia in 2025. This decision follows the recent proposal by the IOC’s Executive Board and will be presented at the IOC Session ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The IOC has entered a 12-year partnership with the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Saudi Arabia to host the Olympic Esports Games. As per the official announcement, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Minister of Sport and President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic Committee remarked, “The world is invited to join us in 2025 and celebrate this moment together.”

Indian esports, already on the rise, stands to gain significantly from this development. Following a bronze medal win in DOTA 2 at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and competing in five titles at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, India’s esports scene is on track for further growth.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the groundbreaking development, Akshat Rathee, Co-founder and MD of NODWIN Gaming, said, “NODWIN Gaming is thrilled that esports has earned its place in the Olympics with its own standalone event, akin to the Summer, Winter, and Paralympics. This recognition allows countries to develop independent esports programs. Together with our partners in the GEF and the EWC, NODWIN Gaming is eager to build esports in our core growth markets, seizing this opportunity for hope and glory.”

The IOC launched its first esports pilot, the Olympic Virtual Series, in 2021 followed by the Olympic Esports Week in Singapore in June 2023. This event brought together over 130 players from around the world, competing in 10 mixed-gender categories, attracting over 500,000 unique participants and six million views, with 75% of the audience aged 13 to 34.

“The IOC’s embrace of the Olympic Esports Games honors the dedication and skill of millions of gamers worldwide. It goes beyond just competition; it elevates esports to a global platform, encouraging international collaboration and potentially ushering in a new generation of athletes. This initiative truly is a landmark moment for esports, bringing it the global recognition it has long earned. The inclusion of esports in the Olympic movement demonstrates its growing influence and cements its place in the future of sports,” commented Roby John, CEO and Co-founder at SuperGaming.

The introduction of the Olympic Esports Games is set to further enhance the credibility of esports in India, establishing it as a viable sport and career option.

“This recognition will further legitimize esports as a career option, more parents will now support their children in pursuing careers in this field, elevating the professional landscape of competitive gaming. We are proud to support the growth of esports in India, giving our players the chance to shine on this prestigious international platform,” further.

With the official announcement of the Olympic Esports Games, work will now begin on selecting the host city and venue, determining the event’s timing, selecting titles, and establishing the qualification process for players. The IOC has emphasized collaboration with International Federations already engaged in e-sports and National Olympic Committees that include esports in their activities.

While the titles for the Olympic Esports Games have not been officially announced, the potential inclusion of games across diverse platforms is expected to stimulate growth in India’s gaming industry. This could lead to a rise in PC and console gaming, diversifying India’s predominantly mobile gaming market as players aim to represent their nation at the largest international multi-sport event.

“We are absolutely elated by the announcement of the Olympic Esports Games which is being hosted in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This marks a monumental step for the industry and all its stakeholders. The Indian esports sector is on an upward trajectory and this will further empower it. Esports being integrated under the banner of the pinnacle of sports events in the world will bring further legitimacy to this form of sport and encourage a new generation of esports talent to rise from the country. We’re excited and look forward to extending our support to the esports community of India so they make a mark at the global event!” said Vishal Parekh, COO, CyberPowerPC India.

Additionally, the IOC will establish a dedicated structure for the Olympic Esports Games, distinct from the traditional Olympic Games model, to address the unique aspects of esports financing and organization.

 

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Legendary skater and entrepreneur to keynote at SBC Summit

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Renowned professional skateboarder turned entrepreneur and iconic video game legend Tony Hawk is slated to deliver a keynote address to 25,000 attendees, at the upcoming SBC Summit.

The keynote titled: “Tony Hawk – What Keeps The Wheels Turning on a Global Brand” is scheduled to open the second core day of the event, which is taking place at the Feira Internacional de Lisboa between the 24th and 26th of September. The highly anticipated keynote will occur on the Super Stage, located in the MEO Arena.

Hawk will offer delegates an in-depth overview of his illustrious career, covering his introduction to the professional sports arena as a teenager, his landmark partnership with Activision game studios, and the founding of his iconic sporting brands. He will also share strategies for maintaining relevance through brand reinvention, providing insights into his approach to sustaining success and innovation over the years.

In anticipation of his upcoming address, Hawk expressed: “I am excited to be headlining SBC Summit in Lisbon this September. Although the worlds of skateboarding and gambling might seem very different, I believe many parallels and lessons can be very relatable to companies in this industry.

“Whether it is forming long-lasting partnerships, establishing a successful and recognisable brand or maintaining relevance in a predominantly digital world, my story can provide valuable insights for all those attending.”

Born in the Golden State of California on May 12, 1968, Tony Hawk received his first skateboard, a blue fibreglass Bahne, from his brother at the age of nine. By the age of 11, Hawk began entering local skateboarding competitions, and in 1982, at just 14 years old, he officially became a professional skater. He signed with the Powell Peralta professional team and starred in the famous Bones Brigade videos, marking the beginning of his illustrious sporting career.

The subsequent 23 years, saw Hawk win 73 competitive titles, including being named the ‘National Skateboard Association (NSA) Vert Champion’ for 12 consecutive years and earning 16 “X Games” medals. Hawk further cemented himself as an innovator of the sport by inventing more than 80 unique skateboarding tricks. Among these tricks are the ollie-to-Indy, the gymnast plant, the frontside 540-rodeo flip, and the Saran wrap.

In one of skateboarding’s defining moments, Hawk executed a 900 twist (2 1/2 turns) at the 1999 X Games, a feat that had never been performed before. In 2003, Tony officially retired from competitive skating.

Away from the deck, Hawk continued to grow the sport with a variety of successful partnerships and branding deals. In 1992, Tony founded Birdhouse Skateboards (originally Birdhouse Projects) with ex-Powell Peralta professional skateboarder Per Welinder. In 1998, Hawk and his family created Hawk Clothing, a line of children’s skate apparel, and in 1999, he founded the media company 900 Films. In 2002, he established The Skatepark Project (formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation), a nonprofit skateboarding organisation that helps communities build public skate parks for youth in underserved communities.

Tony Hawk’s most successful partnership came in 1999 when he teamed up with global gaming giant Activision to release Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Activision went on to release 16 more video games under the ‘Tony Hawk’ name and reported a staggering $1 billion in sales, making it one of the most successful video game franchises of all timeBorn in the Golden State of California on May 12, 1968, Tony Hawk received his first skateboard, a blue fibreglass Bahne, from his brother at the age of nine. By the age of 11, Hawk began entering local skateboarding competitions, and in 1982, at just 14 years old, he officially became a professional skater. He signed with the Powell Peralta professional team and starred in the famous Bones Brigade videos, marking the beginning of his illustrious sporting career.

The subsequent 23 years, saw Hawk win 73 competitive titles, including being named the ‘National Skateboard Association (NSA) Vert Champion’ for 12 consecutive years and earning 16 “X Games” medals. Hawk further cemented himself as an innovator of the sport by inventing more than 80 unique skateboarding tricks. Among these tricks are the ollie-to-Indy, the gymnast plant, the frontside 540-rodeo flip, and the Saran wrap.

In one of skateboarding’s defining moments, Hawk executed a 900 twist (2 1/2 turns) at the 1999 X Games, a feat that had never been performed before. In 2003, Tony officially retired from competitive skating.

Away from the deck, Hawk continued to grow the sport with a variety of successful partnerships and branding deals. In 1992, Tony founded Birdhouse Skateboards (originally Birdhouse Projects) with ex-Powell Peralta professional skateboarder Per Welinder. In 1998, Hawk and his family created Hawk Clothing, a line of children’s skate apparel, and in 1999, he founded the media company 900 Films. In 2002, he established The Skatepark Project (formerly the Tony Hawk Foundation), a nonprofit skateboarding organisation that helps communities build public skate parks for youth in underserved communities.

Tony Hawk’s most successful partnership came in 1999 when he teamed up with global gaming giant Activision to release Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Activision went on to release 16 more video games under the ‘Tony Hawk’ name and reported a staggering $1 billion in sales, making it one of the most successful video game franchises of all time

Rasmus Sojmark, CEO & Founder of SBC added: “Tony Hawk is undoubtedly one of the most iconic athletes of the 20th century. Not only did Tony revolutionise the world of skateboarding, but through strong branding, incredible athleticism, and genre-defining video games, he brought skateboarding into mainstream pop culture.

“There are certainly many lessons to be learned from this legend, and I am extremely excited to witness Tony’s headline keynote on the Super Stage.”

Operators and affiliates can apply for free passes to the event. Operators can visit here, while affiliates are urged to click here.

The wider industry can secure their spot at the upcoming SBC Summit with a special offer granting access to all three core days of the event, including the exhibition floor, conference content, and evening networking parties, all for the discounted price of just €300.

 

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