TNL Take: We've spoken about the upcoming NBA 2K League's opportunity regarding apparel/footwear and brands should take notice. Two recently announced partnerships further strengthen this avenue for merchandising and marketing.
Danish team North announced a deal with Adidas to wear their branded jerseys through the rest of 2018 during all activities. Adidas had previously signed a deal with French squad Team Vitality last year and sees them further expand in the space.
Adidas already sponsors FC Copenhagen which is associated with North along with Nordisk Film. Expect filmed content and social media activity as part of this deal as well.
Also announced on the same day was an innovative partnership between K-Swiss and Immortals. The first product for limited-released arrives in December 2018 with the K-Swiss Kompass sneaker having been redesigned with Immortals branding and colors.
Second, and the most unique part of the deal, is the development of the first-ever high-end performance gaming sneaker for esports players of all levels. K-Swiss will take the next year to work with their players from Dota 2, Arena of Valor, Clash Royale, and Super Smash Bros. to create the sneaker. Fans will be able to follow along as Immortals and K-Swiss document the entire process from beginning to end.
Through visits to Immortals’ Los Angeles-based training facility over the next few months, K-Swiss designers willconsider a professional gamer’s technical performance needs, such as the rising temperature in a shoe and movement of feet during a match. Intended to be cool, lightweight and breathable, the performance style will make its debut in early 2019.
The immersion, fan feedback and key word - engagement - all make this a great program.
As more trappings of traditional sports enters esports, it's not shocking that big apparel/athletic/streetwear brands are finally taking notice of the market. As the NBA 2K League tips off today, I still believe that the Jordan brand would be a perfect fit.
Your move now Nike and Under Armour.