With the rise of gaming across the world, here are some of the biggest non-gaming brands that are in the esports scene.
Gaming and esports is taking over, even for non-gaming brands
The global gaming industry has risen to the forefront of pop culture. Brands like MSi, ROG, and other tech brands have long ago adopted esports, and now a growing number of non-gaming brands are putting stock into the industry each day.
Today, FaZe Clan, one of North America’s most popular esports company’s has announced that it has struck a partnership with McDonald’s USA. The FaZe Clan x McDonald’s content collaboration aims to highlight “the evolution of diversity within the gaming industry and the work FaZe Clan and McDonald’s are doing to make a lasting impact.”
They’re just one of the many non-endemic brands getting involved in the space, and they range from the lifestyle segment to food culture, cars and beyond.
Sports apparel and fashion titan Adidas famously signed a multi-year apparel deal with European giants G2 Esports early in 2021, making them one of the biggest non-gaming brands in esports today. Before that, they released a limited-edition TeamVitality x Dragon Ball Z sneaker in December 2020. Adidas also partnered with streaming superstar Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins.
In 2019, Armani Exchange partnered with Italian esports organization Mkers. A|X Armani Exchange is described as the youthful label created by the late Giorgio Armani in 1991. This partnership saw the fashion brand become the official jersey sponsor of the Italian esports giant.
Global K-Pop sensations Black Pink have also entered the world of gaming and esports as one of its most notable non-gaming brands. Last year, the Korean singing group announced a partnership with PUBG Mobile. The initial collaboration saw the creation of unique avatars that featured Black Pink members Jisoo, Jenny, Lisa, and Rosé among other in-game items. This August, PUBG Mobile has teased the release of Black Pink gun skins and wearable player outfits featuring the styles of each member.
If you’re a fan of Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter, Spencer “Hiko” Martin and 100 Thieves, then you’ve seen Chipotle’s logo plastered on their stream overlays more than once. The partnership kicked off in March of 2020 with a comical performance from Matthew “nadeshot” Haag, the company’s founder and CEO.
The world of automobiles has also seen some of its largest non-gaming brands enter into partnerships with leading esports organizations. Honda has been a partner of Team Liquid since 2019. It started with Honda venturing into the LCS with Team Liquid Honda Odyssey. Since then, the Honda logo has been on other Team Liquid roster jerseys.
Nissan also entered the world of esports in 2019, partnering up with FaZe Clan and Optic Gaming. The brand’s partnership with FaZe Clan is still going strong, with the Nissan GTR featured in the McDonalds x FaZe Clan content partnership announcement.
The Chiefs Esports Club, more popularly known as Chiefs Esports, is one of Oceania’s most popular esports organizations. In June of 2020, L’Oréal saw an opportunity to introduce its personal care brand Men Expert to The Chiefs’ young and predominantly male audience.
Over the years, Louis Vuitton has made an effort to create one-of-a-kind trophy cases for global sports tournaments like the FIFA World Cup and theLexus Rugby World Cup. They announced themselves as one of the biggest non-gaming brands to enter the esports world by doing the same for the League of Legends World Championship in 2019. Along with it came exclusive in-game cosmetics like character skins for Riot’s popular MOBA.
Just this July, 100 Thieves made another landmark announcement. The rising esports organization has partnered up with Toyota’s marquee luxury car brand, Lexus. This resulted in an esports content partnership wherein the 100 Thieves Content House was rebranded as Lexus Content House, making Nexus one of the largest non-gaming brands in the industry.
Also this July, Puma announced its extended partnership with Gen.G to become the global jersey sponsor for all the organization’s pro teams and content creators. Puma also signed a multi-year partnership with one of North America’s largest esports organizations, Cloud9, back in 2019.