Brands have realized the potential of partnering with esports and gaming groups. Puma, for example, has nearly two dozen deals within the space, designing jerseys and other apparel for an entertainment industry that reaches billions.
Here are some key partnerships to note, with more to come in 2021.
Gucci partnered with Britain’s Fnatic club, and in 2020, the two unveiled a watch with a price tag of £1,150 (C$2,030). It is built with a 40mm stainless steel case that has an engraved ‘Fnatic’ and limited-edition number on it.
H&M Netherlands locked in a two-season sponsorship contract with the Netherlands FIFA esports league eDivise.
As reported by Esports Insider, the H&M store in Leidseplein, Amsterdam will be transformed into an eDivisie environment. Players Bob van Uden and Marc Groenland, of FC Groningen and Fortuna Sittard, respectively, will be on display.
“When you feel good, you perform better. A good outfit can definitely contribute to this. Partly for this reason, the eDivisie and H&M are a great match,” said Lucas Muscas, head of marketing and communications at H&M Netherlands.
Kappa and Vexed Gaming aligned to produce a limited-edition collection which includes an esports jersey.
“Kappa’s iconic brand and individual styling is ideally pitched for gamers worldwide,” said Mark Weller, chief gaming officer at Vexed Gaming, in a release.
Kappa has also partnered with MAD Lion, London Esports, and Diabolus, among others.
Florida-based entertainment company Misfits Gaming Group (MGG) recently announced a partnership with Tokyo Time, the British headwear brand. (Tokyo Time launched in 2018 and creates Japanese-inspired headwear.) This is Tokyo Time’s first esports deal, which will create specialized Misfits Gaming headwear. MGG also launched an incubator and fund to help invest in gaming and esports entrepreneurs, in case you’re interested.
Photos: Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton aligned with Riot Games to create capsule collections. The ready-to-wear selections were designed by Nicolas Ghesquière, creative director at Louis Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton has also designed bespoke trophy cases for the NBA and FIFA, as well as for the League of Legends World Championship.
Photos: Puma x Cloud9
Puma is a brand that has gone all-in in the esports world, partnering with organizations such as Cloud9, AGO Esports, and ORDER. The Cloud9 deal includes signature shirts and pants, which is similar to what’s been done for Manchester City in the English Premier League.
Raven has linked with the Call of Duty League, as well as DarkZero, Rogue, SNG Esports, and the British Esports Association. They offer custom wear for gamers, and you can print your own designs as well.
The Call of Duty Championship t-shirt (above), which is made with 200gsm cotton, has a geometric print on the front and a lineup of competing teams logos on the back.
Under Armour signed a one-year deal with Singaporean organization Team SMG (Still Moving Under Gunfire), making UA the team’s official apparel sponsor. The deal includes outfitting three of the SMG teams in Southeast Asia.
Photos: Nike x LPL
In 2019, Nike made team kits for the League of Legends Pro League (LPL). Nike secured the brand as the official apparel provider for the league, meaning that we’ll see more Nike x LPL offerings in the years to come.
One of the coolest apparel brands in the esports space is Sector Six. If you’re looking for an abundance of trendy items that both pro and amateur teams sport, this is a company to follow. You can shop various team selections here or put in an order.
Photos: Naruto x Team Liquid
While it may not be a renowned fashion house, the partnership between Team Liquid and Naruto looks too good not to share right now.
The crossover between esports and anime fans is one to note. This is the first Naruto-Shippuden-inspired collection we’re seeing, which is only available in the U.S., and you can pre-order here. More offerings are expected.
Sources: Esports Insider, Newzoo, CNBC, Forbes
Main photo: Nike x LPL