Global leaders in the payments industry, Mastercard have announced their entry into the realm of Chess. The international payments technology company have added Chess to their list of sports sponsorships, partnering up with the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. In addition, Mastercard have also added Magnus Carlsen to their list of global brand ambassadors.
This isn’t Mastercard’s initiation into the world of esports. They were also the first global sponsor of League of Legends in a multi-year partnership with Riot Games back in 2018.
The sport of Chess has seen an incredulous rise in popularity and viewership over the last 18 months or more. As on-field sports took a backseat during these testing times, Chess boomed online as something that the people enjoyed watching and partaking in.
Magnus Carlsen has become almost synonymous with Chess in modern times. The Norwegian is the highest-rated chess player in the history of the sport and is arguably one of the greatest chess players of all time. Carlsen joins the likes of Lionel Messi, Naomi Osaka, Crystal Dunn, and Dan Carter as a brand ambassador for Mastercard.
The Norwegian said,” Expanding the influence of the game of chess has always been close to my heart. To have Mastercard, which brings people and their passions together in meaningful ways, partner with the Tour is very exciting. Chess has given me so many priceless experiences over the years, and I’m proud to join Mastercard to bring the sport forward to millions of fans around the world.”
Meltwater Champions Chess Tour is created by the Play Magnus Group and comprises several circuit events. At the end of the circuit, the best performing players as per the overall standings battle it out to win the entire Tour.
The current circuit has drawn to a close, with Magnus Carlsen winning the Aimchess US Rapid 2021. The current World Champion leads the circuit and will look to win the entire tour at the finals, which will be held from the 25th of September in Oslo, Norway.
Mastercard – The Priceless Chess Experience
As for Mastercard, the partnership will see them combine with Carlsen and the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour to create a wide range of Priceless experiences and exclusive for the cardholders through Priceless.com.
The first experience will be a virtual one, with cardholders privy to join a 30-minute live zoom session with Magnus Carlsen as he talks about his journey in and his passion for the sport of Chess. Named the Chess Insights from World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen Experience, participants will also have the chance to submit questions that will have a chance to be selected and answered by the Norwegian chess phenom during the live session.
The experience is a limited offer and will be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis. The attendants will also receive a free one-month subscription to Chess24, one of the premier hosts of online chess, for both casuals and hardcore lovers of the sport.
Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Mastercard, said,” Mastercard strives to connect people with their passions. Teaming up with Magnus, widely regarded as the best chess player of all time, and the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour underscores our enthusiastic commitment to provide cardholders with Priceless Experiences that celebrate the physical and mental sport of chess. We’re excited to bring the global chess base closer to the game they love and to engage with new enthusiasts.”
The also appears to be a Mastercard Chess Challenge that allows participants to pit their wits against the AI version of the 9-year-old Magnus Carlsen.
Apart from exclusive benefits for cardholders, Mastercard will also be curating a chess-themed curriculum for Girls4Tech, their signature science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program in their continuous efforts to promote gender equity.