North American esports Organization announced a sponsorship deal with telecommunications giant AT&T yesterday.
Sometime this year, AT&T will sponsor a weekly show called “The Nines,” providing fans with a look inside the Cloud9 organization. It will include highlights, team and player profiles, tournament previews and esports news. Additionally, the partnership will include AT&T social media coverage from AT&T sponsored tournaments and events. This signals a push from the telecom giant into the space.
“We’re thrilled that Cloud9 has chosen to work with us to connect its fans to more of the moments they love, whether that’s at an event, at home, or on the go. Our sponsorship investments put our brand at the convergence of entertainment, technology and lifestyles. Cloud9 is thriving at that intersection, and we look forward to learning and growing with them,” said AT&T Sponsorships & Experiential Marketing assistant VP, Shiz Suzuki.
With the partnership, AT&T seems to be reaching into the esports space, much like TMobile. TMobile signed a deal with Overwatch League team Houston Outlaws in February.
Jack Etienne, CEO and owner of Cloud9, had this to say: “Teaming up with a company like AT&T, who has always prided itself on being ahead of the curve, is a tremendous moment for the whole C9 organization. With what AT&T is bringing us, we’re going to be able to bring the fans so much more – more content, more access, more memes, and more championships. I can’t wait to see the incredible things we’ll do together.”
Esports Sponsorships on the Rise
Esports has seen an increase in established brands entering the space, including Honda and Mercedes Benz. Earlier this year, both Betway and Red Bull partnered with German-esports organization BIG. Sandwich maker Jersey Mike’s teamed up the with the Team Liquid LoL team. Additionally, Nike signed a massive deal with Tencent to provide jerseys for the LPL.
Cloud9 also recently inked a deal with show-manufacturer Puma, who will provide footwear to the organization’s teams.