TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 022: PEPSI ADRENALINE RUSH AND VIRTUS PRO
TNL Take: Normally energy drinks (Red Bull, Monster) have been excluded as they've been in the "Endemic" category since starting TNL Brand Tracker. However this deal is unique for a few reasons.
First the deal itself: Pepsi's Adrenaline Rush brand signed a partnership with ESforce Holding, which owns Russian eSports team Virtus.pro. The 1-year deal includes the usual jersey logo across their teams and athletes in Counter-Strike, League of Legends, Hearthstone and Dota 2.
Virtus.pro will also provide content marketing for both the team's and Adrenaline Rush's social channels as well as participate in brand marketing events.
Here's why this particular deal is interesting:
- Adrenaline Rush has been moving heavily into eSports recently: In 2016, the brand organized the nationwide Adrenaline Open Cyber Cup as well as the Adrenaline Cyber League for Pro's.
- It also has Brand targeted specifically to Gamers and eSports fans called Adrenaline Game Fuel
- Pepsi's continues its support of eSports across a wide variety of products and sponsorships of teams, leagues, and events - more on this Soon™
- The biggest one: Recently Red Bull announced their own League of Legends Challenger team. Red Bull also sponsors different eSports teams as well as individual Athletes. What happens if hypothetically League of Legends announces that Monster Energy is the official league drink? What happens to the Red Bull team? What happens to Red Bull's eSports team deals? What happens to this deal with Virtus.pro?
As eSports league's become more formalized and start to slowly resemble traditional sports infrastructure, brand deals and revenue sharing will soon start becoming a bigger part of the conversation.