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Overwatch League and Fanatics Team up for Groundbreaking Retail, Licensing, and Ecommerce Deal

George Miller

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Overwatch League and Fanatics Team up for Groundbreaking Retail, Licensing, and Ecommerce Deal
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Fanatics will become the official retail partner of the Overwatch League

The first-ever esports deal for Fanatics includes omnichannel retail and fan gear manufacturing rights

 

The Overwatch League announced a groundbreaking, multi-year deal with Fanatics, the global leader for licensed sports merchandise, which will provide the Overwatch League fanbase with an omnichannel retail experience along with a significantly expanded assortment of products. The agreement marks the first-ever foray into the rapidly expanding global esports industry for Fanatics and is the first of its kind between a major retailer and an official esports league.

The deal is highlighted by Fanatics securing U.S. and international rights to produce Overwatch League jerseys, fan gear, headwear, and hard goods sold across all retail and wholesale channels. Under the new agreement, both parties also will work collaboratively to identify and secure additional world-class companies to grow the overall assortment of high-quality products available to fans. In addition, Fanatics will establish a new global ecommerce and mobile shopping platform and operate on-site retail for all league events.

“Our collaboration with Fanatics—the first between a major esports league and a global sports merchandising company—allows us to reach even more fans and to provide them with high-quality merchandise and a best-in-class retail experience where they can shop for all our great Overwatch League gear,” said Brandon Snow, chief revenue officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “Fanatics has a proven track record of success with major sports brands and we’re excited to work with them in expanding this part of our business.”

Fanatics—utilizing an innovative vertical manufacturing model, combining extensive licensing rights with on-demand manufacturing and an agile supply chain—will design and quickly distribute high-quality Overwatch League fan gear across all categories, including merchandise for league events and championships.

“The demand for team gear during our inaugural season was very strong,” said Daniel Siegel, head of esports licensing for Blizzard Entertainment. “A significant number of fans—for regular-season matches at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and at the Grand Finals in Brooklyn—showed up in jerseys to support their teams, and we’re thrilled to make it even easier for them to represent their favorite teams and players.”

“Esports has been on our radar for some time now and we are incredibly excited to mark our first deal with the best in the world in Activision Blizzard around their incredibly successful Overwatch League,” said Ross Tannenbaum, head of special projects for Fanatics. “Our omnichannel retail capabilities and real-time vertical manufacturing model will ensure that Overwatch League fans across the globe have unprecedented access to a wide assortment of merchandise to be able to show their passion and pride for the teams and players they love, whether shopping online, on their phone, or at one of many league events.”

The agreement between the Overwatch League and Fanatics will be implemented before the start of the 2019 Overwatch League season, which kicks off on February 14. At that time, Overwatch League gear will be available on a dedicated e-store and on select sites across Fanatics’ global network.

The new online storefronts will be the first to sell gear for the Overwatch League’s new expansion teams: Atlanta Reign, Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Paris Eternal, Toronto Defiant, Vancouver Titans, and the Washington Justice. Fanatics will operate on-site retail stores for all Overwatch League regular-season matches at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and for other league events.

Further details about the official launch of the new Overwatch League ecommerce platform and the 2019 season will be announced at a later date.

 

About the Overwatch League™:

The Overwatch League™ is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years. The latest addition to Blizzard’s stable of twenty-two #1 games,[1] Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with memorable characters and fast-paced action designed for the most engaging gameplay and spectator experiences. To learn more about the Overwatch League, visit www.overwatchleague.com.

About Fanatics:

As the global leader in licensed sports merchandise, Fanatics is changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel and jerseys through an innovative, tech-infused approach to making and selling fan gear in today’s on-demand culture. Operating multi-channel commerce for the world’s biggest sports brands, Fanatics offers the largest collection of timeless and timely merchandise whether shopping online, on your phone, in stores, in stadiums or on-site at the world’s biggest sporting events.

© 2018 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. OVERWATCH, OVERWATCH LEAGUE, BLIZZARD, and BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries.

[1] Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Huami Becomes McLaren Applied Technologies’ eSports Wearables Partner

George Miller

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Huami Becomes McLaren Applied Technologies' eSports Wearables Partner
Photo Source: yogonet.com
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The collaboration will see jointly developed co-branded solutions and wearable technologies

 

McLaren Applied Technologies announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Huami Corporation, a biometric and activity data-driven company with significant expertise in smart wearable technology, to jointly develop co-branded intelligent, data-driven, customized performance optimization solutions and wearable technologies in the future.

These co-developed, co-branded products will work seamlessly with mobile applications to provide users with a comprehensive view of their biometric and activity data, particularly in relation to health and wellness-based activities and competitive esports, a market segment of growing popularity over recent years. The collaboration will explore the application of metrics-driven wearables that contribute to the optimisation of human performance in the field of racing, such as body sensors and AI technology.

The first stage of the collaboration will see Huami Partner with the McLaren Shadow Project esports competition. Huami technology will be used to help select the winner of the competition, held at the McLaren Technology Centre between January 16 – 17, 2019. The winner will be chosen from seven finalists after four days of virtual and real-world racing as well as rigorous human performance testing by McLaren Applied Technologies. Throughout the finals week, assessment sessions will include stimulus detection, central processing, physical capabilities and driving skill that will utilise biometric data collected from Huami’s high-quality wearable products to evaluate human performance characteristics exhibited during the event.

Duncan Bradley, Health Unit Business Director at McLaren Applied Technologies, commented:
“This is a hugely exciting announcement for McLaren Applied Technologies. Huami is a global leader in the wearables technology space and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to co-develop products as part of this long-term technical partnership. The involvement of McLaren Applied Technologies in McLaren Shadow Project is a key differentiator between our competition and others in the racing e-sports space. This offering has only been strengthened by this partnership with Huami and we’re pleased to have such a trusted partner on-board to help crown our winner.”

Tommy Tang, Vice President of Huami, said:
“We are excited to be working with world-leading performance design and technology solutions provider McLaren Applied Technologies and official partner to McLaren Shadow Project. We believe that this strategic partnership validates the growth potential of our high-quality wearable technology products and will help broaden our global reach. As part of our strategic collaboration, we will integrate our mutually compatible technologies to develop an innovative wearable design and create a comprehensive user experience. As a partner to McLaren Shadow Project this programme will enable Huami’s devices to be used as an invaluable data source to detail compelling insights about human physical performance that works across different sectors, including wellness and e-sports.”

“As part of our partnership we are honored to help determine the champion of McLaren Shadow Project, based on analysis of the biometric data collected from our premium wearable products,” Mr. Tang continued. “Importantly, we look forward to jointly developing smart technology wearable products that work with mobile applications to provide users with a comprehensive view of their biometric and activity data. Jointly, we can set a new standard in delivering quantifiable and actionable human performance insights.”

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Mercedes-Benz and FC Köln buy stakes in SK Gaming

Niji Ng

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Mercedes-Benz and FC Köln buy stakes in SK Gaming
Photo Source: sk-gaming.com
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FC Köln and Daimler AG (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) have bought substantial stakes in the German multigaming organisation SK Gaming. The companies reached an agreement with ESforce, who will sell 67 per cent of its stake in SK Gaming.. According to the deal, Mercedes-Benz will appear on the front of SK Gaming’s jerseys and FC Köln will have its #effzeh branding present on the sleeves.

ESforce acquired the stake in SK Gaming in September 2016, the team has recently stepped up its involvement in League of Legends as it became one of the new teams to join the franchised League of Legends European Championship (LEC). A move which undoubtedly made the organisation more attractive to investors. ESforce stated that this sale will allow them to focus on its other organisation Virtus.pro.

In a statement, ESforce said: “We are glad to have reached a deal with Daimler AG and FC Koeln. Such a major acquisition deal on the esports market is a showcase of not only our partners’ sincere motivation to contribute to the development of global esports but also SK Gaming’s remarkable performance throughout the years, which has made this brand one of the most well-recognised and beloved by esports fans around the world.

FC Köln has an existing partnership with SK Gaming which began in early 2018.

ESforce went on to add: “As the leading esports holding and one of the key market players worldwide, we strive to keep pace with the development of the global esports industry and act in accordance with all international regulations, among which the World Esports Association’s multiple team ownership rules. Together with other global esports organisations, we will continue to support and bolster esports as well as adhere to highest international standards.”

 

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Chris Park joins eSports organisation Gen.G

Niji Ng

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Chris Park joins eSports organisation Gen.G
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MLB executive vice president Chris Park has joined the South Korea-based eSports organisation Gen.G its new chief executive officer.

Park has been serving as EVP of products and marketing, managing digital product development, marketing, and international business development at MLB.

His main responsibilities at Gen.G are will be crafting and leading the day-to-day execution of Gen.G’s strategy alongside Gen.G co-founder Kevin Chou. As part of the c-suite mixup, Chou will assume the role as executive chairman.

“I can’t express how thrilled I am about this new journey into the esports world with Gen.G,” said Park, in a statement. “Having spent years with a traditional sports league, it was evident that competitive gaming was booming—well now it’s here and here to stay. I look forward to continuing to build an esports powerhouse in Gen.G, especially here in the US and specifically LA.”

Park will relocate from New York City to Gen.G’s U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles. But his onboarding will be in Seoul, South Korea at the team’s Asian headquarters as part of his onboarding.

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