Esports organization Cloud9 has teamed up with Red Bull again as the official sponsor for all its squads, and it will roll out a new jersey to reflect that partnership starting this weekend at the League of Legends tournament LCS Summer Split in Europe.
Cloud9 has teams that compete in a number of games, including League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, and Fortnite. In October, it raised a Series A round of $25 million from investors like World Wrestling Entertainment and Wizards co-owner Raul Fernandez.
Red Bull has been extremely active in the esports space, hosting competitions like the fighting game tourneys Red Bull Conquest and Red Bull Proving Grounds. It sponsors the esports team Tempo Storm. It had also previously sponsored Cloud9 in 2015, but had to drop the partnership last year because its parent company was sponsoring another team, the Red Bulls, in the European League of Legends Challenger Series. Its new sponsorship for Cloud9 will once again help the esports teams with video marketing as well as training and sleep analysis through its High Performance Athlete Program.
The esports market could generate as much as $906 million this year, according to market research Newzoo, and its viewership continues to climb. Even so, it still has a ways to go to completely penetrate the mainstream market — broadcasting on TV helps establish esports’ legitimacy for a broader audience, as do sponsorships by big brands like Red Bull.