Mountain Dew is throwing its money into the emerging market for esports with the sponsorship of three squads: Team Dignitas, Splyce, and Team SK Gaming. These new partnerships will provide fans with exclusive content and access to some of the best players and celebrities in the world via the Mountain Dew Twitch channel.
That’s going to give a lot of exposure and more money for the esports stars. It’s important for the industry, which market researcher Newzoo predicts will grow from $696 million in 2017 to $1.5 billion in 2020, because Mountain Dew is a “non-endemic sponsor,” or a brand that is outside of gaming.
“Non-endemic sponsors are where the business needs to go to fully monetize the spectators,” said Greg Richardson, the chairman of Team Dignitas, in an email to GamesBeat. “These sponsors are so intrigued by the size, demographic and depth of engagement from esports viewers but scared of the lack of structure, history and examples of peers advertising. This is a big step.”
The NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers acquired acquired Team Dignitas, showing that esports is becoming relevant outside gaming. Splyce is headquartered in the U.S. and partners with Delaware North and the the NHL’s Boston Bruins, and Team SK Gaming is based in Germany and is one of the oldest and largest esports teams in the world. Mountain Dew said it selected these teams for their style, achievements, and “their embodiment of the Dew brand ethos.”
“We are excited to expand our support of esports through these partnerships with three world-class teams,” said Manos Spanos, Mountain Dew’s global senior marketing director, in a statement. “Industry-first partnerships and authentic integrations that align with core Mountain Dew values and resonate with gamers and Dew Nation will continue to inspire us as a business.”
In 2016, Mountain Dew, which Pepsico owns, created the Mountain Dew League (MDL), a professional competitive gaming league designed to help amateur gamers become pros. In partnership with ESL, the world’s largest esports company, Mountain Dew and E-Sports Entertainment Association League (ESEA) provide amateur gaming teams the opportunity to qualify directly for a place in the ESL Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) Pro League.
Following its inaugural year, MDL is back for another season with more teams, training sessions and player spotlights. This season of the MDL can be viewed on Twitch.