Chris Louey, Esports Advisor, for NGame Esports talks about Nike’s continued involvement in esports.
Nike signed a multi-year partnership with Brazilian esports organization Furia. This is Nike’s first direct partnership with an esports organization. Nike is a brand that loves to dominate in everything they do. Where do you see Nike’s involvement in esports over the next five years?
In 2018 Nike partnered with the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) and sponsored its first esports player, Jian “Uzi” Zihao. Nike already made recent strives in the esports industry, and it appears that the company is not slowing down by engaging in this new direct partnership. Competitors including Adidas, Puma and Under Armour have participated in the esports market, and Nike appears to have thrown its metaphorical hat in the ring. Over the next five years, you can expect Nike to continue to make waves and aim to be the leading figure in esports apparel.
Since Nike is such a leading and innovative company, how can more esports organizations position themselves as attractive partners with Nike?
One way to determine what Nike is looking for is to determine why Nike chose Furia. As you may know, Furia is a Brazilian esports team founded in 2017 which is relatively new compared to other heavyweights in the game. Furia surpassed the Brazillian esports team, Made in Brazil (MiBR), as the best CS: GO team in the country (7th in the world) and recently beat established teams including Vitality and Fnatic. It seems Nike’s sponsorship and partnership endeavors have primarily been outside of the US and focused on the best around the world.