Toronto Ultra and Bud Light partnership marks the beginning of a new era

Toronto Ultra recently announced a partnership with a Bud Light, becoming the first franchised team in the Blizzard competitive ecosystem to do so. This comes after Activision/Blizzard made an announcement earlier this year that they would be branching out to new types of sponsors and partners for their events and leagues. Back in May, the decision fell that they would be looking at liquor and even gambling brands for potential partnerships (though not in as many words). Now it is becoming a reality – and Call of Duty team Toronto Ultra is the first to make good on this.

© Toronto Ultra

The entrance of liquor and gambling brands into the Activison/Blizzard esports scenes is likely to push up investment levels for teams as these previously restricted brands look to gain representation and visibility in what is already a competitive sponsorship market. Big brands tend to bring a lot of money, and they’re even more likely to do so when they’ve previously been restricted from doing so. Some brands like liquor, gambling and other types of potential sponsors have long since been excluded from Blizzard’s potential investors, as far as team sponsorships or event headliners go – and now, Activision-Blizzard is changing its mind in that regard.

Esports fans and brands

The target demographic of esports fans is a prime market opportunity for both liquor and gambling brands. Many of these new partnerships focus on the creation of social media content to further target the primarily younger demographics. Younger obviously doesn’t mean underage, but precisely people in their early 20s are likely to enjoy esports and reject ‘traditional’ advertising methods – so that’s what brands want to aim for when they advertise in esports. Of course, liquor or gambling brands are no different.

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