JD Sports links with Excel Esports gaming brand
JD Sports Fashion is turning its attention to esports, the booming international video games competition arena. The UK’s biggest athletic sportswear retailer has signed a commercial partnership deal with Excel Esports, one of the sector's fastest-growing platforms.
JD Sports replaces BT as the sponsor and has agreed a deal that will see its logo worn by Excel Esports' roster of players who compete in games including FIFA, Fortnite and League of Legends.
The deal, signed for an undisclosed sum, will also include exclusive naming rights to Excel’s academy roster, which competes in the Northern League of Legends Championship, and which will be rebranded as JDXL.
The partnership will underline the increasing interest in esports as a category for high street brands that want to build their profile among esports’ younger consumer demographic.
The sector claims a global fan base of 500 million people in a market now estimated to be worth £1 billion. In the UK alone, there said to be as many as 3,000 professional esports players.
Wouter Sleijffers, Excel's chief executive, said the tie-up would "unite gaming and sports communities on a level never seen before”.
JD Sports' executive chairman, Peter Cowgill, added that it would allow JD Sports to "embrace casual and competitive e-gaming audiences across some of the biggest global gaming titles, while also delivering world-first digital and virtual experiences.”
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