Esports teams are dripping with merchandise deals.
Fans proudly wear their favorite team’s logo, but a simple T-shirt or hat is not going to excite anyone. The solution: partnering with clothing brands.
Cloud9, 100 Thieves, and G2 Esports all have had massive partnerships with Puma, Gucci, and Ralph Lauren respectively. These deals bring bold, boundary-pushing clothing lines to esports fans who want to rep their teams wherever they go, as well as improving the brand of both parties.
“Our partnership with G2 will further the progress we are making to bring our powerful heritage brand to life in authentic ways across new platforms,” said Alice Delahunt, Chief Digital and Content Officer for Ralph Lauren, on G2’s website. “It also underlines our commitment to engage new consumers – including a generation of digital-natives who participate in gaming as a world-class sport and for entertainment.”
This bridge between esports and designer clothing is not an obvious one, but this is just one of many deals that have turned the heads of fans. On September 1st, 2021, Call of Duty rivals FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming joined forces in a surprise merchandise collaboration.
What once were thought of as fierce enemies, FaZe and OpTic showed that they can come together to produce some modern clothes for gamers, and these deals are a part of what keeps esports thriving.
It’s one thing for fans to cheer on their favorite players or organization, but it’s another thing for them to spend their own money to wear their team’s logo like a badge of honor, especially for fans in a young demographic that is obsessed with style.
In this sense, esports teams are starting to more resemble traditional sports leagues such as the NBA, where players often have their own shoe lines, such as Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and, most famously, Michael Jordan.
On the one hand, these deals provide fans with amazing clothes to buy and represent their favorite teams, while on the other hand, this is a sign that esports is becoming even more legitimized as mainstream sports.