TNL Esports Brand Tracker 009: Sour Patch Kids

TNL Take: Overwatch League brand sponsorships are on a roll with another week of play and more announcements.

After Flyquest Sports partnered with Snickers, Overwatch League has their own confection/candy activation with Sour Patch Kids.

Sour Patch Kids will have branded Overwatch League content, onsite experience, branded thundersticks and expect plenty of free candy. 

In addition to Snickers and Sour Patch Kids, the confection category saw another partnership last year between Esports Arena and the Bean Bazzloed brand by Jelly Belly.


NETGEAR Partners With Overwatch League Team Seoul Dynasty

TNL Take: With Overwatch League set to debut today there was a flurry of news during yesterday's Media day including a 2-year Twitch distribution deal as well as another brand partner.

Earlier this week with the launch of Nighthawk® Pro Gaming (NPG) , NETGEAR is establishing deeper ties with the esports community and struck a partnership deal with Overwatch League team Seoul Dynasty.


While the Nighthawk brand was established in 2013, this is the first major investment by NETGEAR to focus primarily on the esports and Pro marketplace mentioned KSV Esports, the parent company of Seoul Dynasty.

"Netgear is well aligned with Seoul Dynasty - we both share an obsessive focus on performance. We are both committed to do all we can to enable our players to perform at their very best" said KSV Esports co-founder and COO Kent Wakeford speaking with The Next Level.

Interesting to note: Of the 4 deals closed with Overwatch League (HP and Intel for the League), Jack in the Box for Dallas Fuel and now NETGEAR for Seoul Dynasty, 3 of them are Endemic brands.

Now that OWL distribution is locked in, hopefully will become easier for both the league and teams to attract Non-Endemic brands.

TNL Esports Brand Tracker 002: Coca-Cola

TNL Take: Coca-Cola continues its tradition of esports brand integration by working again with publishers and theaters to hold viewing parties. They have previously done this for the League of Legends Finals and the Overwatch launch.

This year Coca-Cola partnered with publisher Hi-Rez Studios for the Smite 2018 Championship which occurred this past Sunday.

Coca-Cola Smite Viewing Party (Photo: Regal Cinemas)

Coca-Cola Smite Viewing Party (Photo: Regal Cinemas)

Two interesting points on this partnership. Previously, there had been a minimum number of tickets that needed to be purchased for the esports event to happen. After checking a few of the theaters, this requirement has been removed for the Smite Championship.

Second, the swag that was given out previously were branded cups or thundersticks.


For this partnership, Coca-Cola and Hi-Rez will be giving out thundersticks in addition to exclusive digital items that were given to those that attended Hi-Rez's expo last week. This is super smart to include the same exclusive items for those that weren't able to travel to the expo.

I'd expect going forward, Coca-Cola and their publisher partners will continue to push both physical and digital goods with their their viewing parties.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 010: Soylent and eSports Arena

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 010: Soylent and eSports Arena

(Photo: eSports Arena)

TNL Take:  I always love seeing new, innovative brands take the leap into eSports.

If you haven’t heard of Soylent, it’s basically a drink that replicates a nutritious meal at about $3 each. You can see why this audience would be perfect for Soylent: Quick, cheap and gets you full so you can keep gaming.

There was no info on this, so I don’t have the details on the overall partnership with eSports Arena, but Soylent did tell me that “eSports is a segment we’re interested in”. In addition to being mentioned on eSports Arena’s Twitter, the most prominent features were product placement on the Analyst desk and In Game logo.

(Photo: The Next Level)

This is not Soylent’s first venture into eSports — last year they sponsored the ESL ESEA Pro League and ESL One Event at Madison Square Garden.

Looking forward to seeing them do more this year.