Adidas signs esports sponsorship deal
Non-gaming related companies signing sponsorship deals is a pretty common event now, really – while in the beginning it was mostly things like energy drinks providers, hardware manufacturers etc, nowadays there is everything from venture capitalist firms to car manufacturers backing esports organisations and events.
The most recent addition to this already extensive line-up is Adidas – the sportswear manufacturer signed a deal with a FIFA Online 4 team, more specifically Lyon EDG of Olympique Lyonnais and Edward Gaming.Lyon EDG is (unsurprisingly) the esports branch of French soccer organisation Olympique Lyonnais and Edward gaming or EDG, an organisation based in China. EDG may not be too well-known to fans in Europe, however it is one of the bigger esports organisations in the region, comparable to names like Cloud9 Gaming. As such, this is the first time Adidas has partnered with this type of organisation from China. While the financial details, such as the sum invested and the term of agreements weren’t disclosed yet, the rough topics of it were – Adidas is going to produce exclusive brand apparel and accessories for the team.
Just a few days ago, the team competed in a tournament – the FIFA Online 4 Professional Champion Cup that took place between Dec. 7th and Dec. 9th in Shanghai. The players debuted their new gear at the event.
It was only last year that Olympique Lyonnais signed a partnership with Edward Gaming in order to form the Lyon EDG team. The idea was to focus on the Asian segment of the EA FIFA franchise. They made a bit of history with it too – it was the first Chinese-European partnership of this type in the world of soccer.
Earlier this year, a second soccer organisation – the French Paris Saint-Germain – partnered with another Chinese esports organisation named LGD Gaming. Curiously their partnership wasn’t actually for a soccer related team though, but rather a Dota 2 one – PSG.LGD. Their team immediately went on to place second in the International 2018 – a very impressive accomplishment.
Of course Adidas isn’t the only sportswear brand with an interest in esports – popular brand Nike is in negotiations with the Chinese League of Legends Pro League in China. That would, of course, also be a pretty big step. According to official sources, their negotiations are for an apparel sponsorship deal.
Local Chinese sports apparel brands are, of course, already active in Chinese esports – brand Li-Ning recently signed a deal with the same company as Adidas just did: EDG. Their Li-Ning x EDG joint apparel line is already being sold locally and includes typical products like hoodies, shoes, tracksuits and jackets.
Unfortunately, these things are only available in Shanghai retail stores, though you may well be able to find some products online. This new deal is quite a prestigious one – it has already started to draw further international interest in the booming esports world of China – one of, if not THE fastest evolving ones in the entire world.