Guild Esports, a global team organisation and lifestyle brand, announced the signing of a three-year global sponsorship agreement with Sky UK Ltd. (“Sky”), one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies.
This deal is Guild’s largest to date and is payable exclusively in cash via instalments over the period of the contract. It is the eighth revenue-generating sponsorship signed by the Company since its IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
The deal is understood to be one of the largest ever esports sponsorships signed in Europe and will see Sky become the Official Premier Partner of Guild Esports. It is also Sky’s first agreement with an esports organisation and becomes effective from Monday 26th September, 2022.
As part of the partnership, Sky gains exclusive naming rights to the Company’s 9,831 sq ft head office facility in London’s Shoreditch. In addition, it has been appointed as Guild’s Official HQ Partner, Official Wi-Fi and Broadband partner, and the Official Network Provider. Sky’s branding will appear prominently on Guild’s team jersey and will be displayed across both the interior and exterior of the HQ, which will be renamed the Sky Guild Gaming Centre. Sky’s next-generation ultrafast, full fibre broadband and Wi-Fi will also drive Guild’s internet and telecoms communications links across the organisation as well as for its Academy and fanbase engagement.
The partnership will allow Guild and Sky to work together on shared brand values and effect positive change in line with three core partnership commitments, which include: providing greater opportunities for women in the esports industry, creating best practice in delivering top esports performance and coaching development, and delivering exclusive esports competitions for Sky VIP customers across all of Guild’s gaming titles.
The agreement will allow Guild to launch an all-female Rocket League team, building on the success of Guild’s all female Valorant team, Valorant X, signed in September 2021. Sky and Guild are committed to fostering greater female participation in gaming and creating an inclusive environment through shared thought leadership, education, promotion and the establishing of viable professional opportunities for women in esports.
David Beckham, Investor in Guild Esports, said: “It’s great that Guild Esports has a fantastic new partner in Sky and I’m pleased to welcome them to the Guild family.”
Kal Hourd, Chief Executive of Guild Esports, said: “We are incredibly proud to welcome Sky, a media, entertainment and connectivity powerhouse, to the esports sector. We believe this partnership will drive Guild to the highest levels of performance in top-flight esports across the four games where we field our pro-players, as well as to become a global leader in coaching and performance.
“As our Official Premier Partner, we are proud to display Sky’s logo and branding across our players’ jerseys and our London HQ as well as use its next-generation ultrafast, full fibre broadband and Wi-Fi. The partnership will allow us to invest not just in player performance, but in our long-stated goal to become a global leader for women in esports, starting with the launch of our all-female Rocket League team, encouraged by the huge success of our Valorant X team. Our shared values are an excellent foundation for a strong partnership, and we look forward to working with Sky over the next three years.
“This landmark partnership with Sky not only underlines Guild’s strength and value proposition as a top European team organisation to major brands but is also a testament to esports’ mass popularity as the fastest growing form of sports entertainment with a young and passionate global audience.”
Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO, UK and Europe at Sky, said: “Sky transformed the way families watch TV, now we want to transform the gaming experience. In esports every second counts, so Sky’s full fibre broadband will be perfect for Guild’s gaming HQ. Speed and reliability, hallmarks of Sky’s broadband service, will give the Guild team and gamers across the nation the edge over the competition.”
Abios scales up esoccer offering through new data deal with Betinvest
Through a new data partnership with Betinvest, Kambi subsidiary Abios gets access to an additional 4,650 matches of esoccer from the tournaments CyberLive!Arena (CLA) and Esport Pro Club (EPC). This allows Abios to power its partners with fast and engaging betting experiences, perfect for sportsbooks looking to capitalise on the combination of digital esports and analogue sports.
Last year, Abios released its esoccer offering featuring an odds feed, widgets and accompanying streams, creating an all-in-one betting experience. It proved to be a popular product for sportsbooks looking to increase live content after big events or during season downtime.
To increase coverage, create a more consistent offering and enable larger customer differentiation, Abios has partnered with sportsbook solutions provider Betinvest. Through the deal, Abios gets access to over 4,650 monthly events across CyberLive!Arena (CLA) and Esport Pro Club (EPC) tournaments.
This allows Abios to price and provide data and streams for an increased number of events, making sure there is live content available in the sportsbook, even during breaks in the seasonal football season.
The events are played in EA Sports’ FC game, formerly known as FIFA, which allows two players to control teams of players on a high-tech, simulated football field. In its simplicity and likeness to football, the game and its esports segment cater to fans of both football and esports, making it a bridge connecting both worlds.
Dariia Petrus, Business Development Team Lead at Betinvest, says: “Looking forward, our partnership is poised for significant growth and innovation. We’ve established a solid base for collaboration, opening up a range of exciting opportunities for us to explore together. The synergy of our shared expertise and efforts sets this venture apart, making it a noteworthy endeavor. This collaboration goes beyond achieving shared goals; it’s about the enriching experiences and mutual growth we’ll achieve along the way. We’re genuinely excited about what lies ahead and eagerly anticipate the start of our joint efforts.”
Oskar Bonnevier Fröberg, Managing Director and Founder of Abios, comments: Abios has recently taken significant strides to facilitate our esoccer product reaching new heights. With proprietary modelling, access to best-in-class data sources and a team of esports experts, we’ve been able to build a reliable odds feed coupled with exciting bet offers.
To help us provide 24/7 content to partners across the globe, we’re thrilled to have Betinvest onboard. With the content they provide, we can ensure even higher flexibility and availability for our partners, ultimately leading to more differentiated and optimised sports betting offerings.”
Esports World Cup Reveals First Five Game Titles for Summer 2024
Esports World Cup (EWC) Foundation this week revealed the first five games that will be part of the inaugural Esports World Cup this summer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The addition of Honor of Kings, Counter-Strike 2, Dota 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, StarCraft II to the Summer 2024 program underscores the EWC’s mission of bringing together diverse game communities for a truly global event.
“With a mix of storied PC games and some of the biggest mobile esports titles in the world, Esports World Cup captures the past, present, and future of esports,” said Ralf Reichert, CEO, Esports World Cup Foundation. “StarCraft II, Dota 2, Counter-Strike 2, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and Honor of Kings are all outstanding titles for the Esports World Cup. From the games that foundationally defined this industry, to the premier mobile titles beloved by a new wave of gamers, we are building the World Cup to connect with and elevate clubs, players, fans, and the entire esports community.”
The first set of titles features three games with rich histories central to the global popularization of esports. Franchises like StarCraft built standout esports ecosystems during the early days of the industry, and titles such as Dota have consistently shattered viewership and prize pool records throughout decades of competitive play. Counter-Strike 2 represents a new era for a storied esports title, which remains one of the most popular esports in the world 25 years later.
Mobile games like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang lay the foundation for a new frontier of esports – one that leans on the accessibility of the platform and opportunities to host top-tier competition anywhere a 5G signal is available. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is among the most-watched esports in the world by peak viewership, and presents an opportunity to engage an underserved, yet large and diverse, segment of esports fans.
Honor of Kings, the most-played mobile MOBA, is the latest title confirmed for inclusion in the Esports World Cup. Honor of Kings has announced a $15 million commitment to build the game’s international esports ecosystem. In 2024, its esports circuit will feature more tournaments than ever, with over 1000 events across global markets to support the game’s full international launch later this year.
Esports World Cup aims to bring this mix of platforms, genres, and fans together for the largest-ever celebration of gaming as a global sport. Alongside initiatives such as EWC Foundation’s Club Program, announced earlier this month, the tournament will help foster cross-game competition, connecting the audience to their favorite titles and new opportunities for fandom, and facilitating world-class tournaments in dozens of titles.
Participating publishers and games were introduced on social media through related videos that captured not only their unique IP, but the regions that have been integral to their esports history. The campaign highlights the rise of esports as a global sport and the convergence of these regions and their favorite games at the Esports World Cup in summer 2024. The full list of reveals and the cities featured in their CGI reveals to date includes:
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (Shanghai, China)
Dota 2 (Seattle, Washington, USA)
StarCraft II (Seoul, South Korea)
Counter-Strike 2 (Cologne, Germany)
Honor of Kings (Shenzhen, China)
Additional titles will be announced soon.
DATA.BET unleashed the power of esports at ICE London 2024
- About 63% of esports representatives at the exhibition visited ICE Esports Arena, sponsored by the company
DATA.BET, a leading provider of esports solutions, successfully participated in ICE London 2024, the largest iGaming exhibition, focusing on demonstrating esports potential for betting operators and software providers. This year, all attendees not only discovered recent DATA.BET’s product releases and updates, but also had fun at the sim-racing F1-themed ICE Esports Arena, sponsored by the company.
The arena became a dynamic platform for about 1,500 esports enthusiasts and industry professionals to network and compete in different activities. On each exhibition day, everyone was able to test their racing skills and participate in exciting challenges, such as Pit Stop, VR and Sim-racing and Pro Head-to-Head. During three days, 47 participants managed to get to the finale of the daily tournament, Beat the pro, fighting against professional sim-racers. All finalists of this challenge received branded gifts, and three of them became champions with drones as the main reward.
But not only challenges and prizes ensured a thrilling show for everybody. The DATA.BET’s trading team used the tournament’s live-generated content to produce odds line, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to watch the esports betting creation process.
The esports data provider also became a headliner of the Esports Betting Conference held on February 8 within the ICE VOX. Together with other industry experts, Alex Kozachenko, Chief Product Officer of DATA.BET, explored the significance of delivering reliable data and shared valuable insights in a panel discussion, ‘Stepping Out of Data Beta’.
Alex emphasized, “We were delighted to offer ICE visitors a memorable experience, collaborating with the exhibition organizers. The strategic participation at major iGaming events like ICE is integral for reshaping the esports landscape and reinforcing the DATA.BET’s commitment to unlocking the full potential of esports for operators and software providers. We are not just observing industry trends but actively contributing to the evolution and optimization of esports for the broader audience.”
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