• Xavier Cullen

From Usain Bolt to Coca-Cola: Non-endemic brands are entering esports now more than ever


Photo by Fernando Frazão

This past week has been a wild one for the esports world. Many non-endemic brands, meaning those outside the gaming industry, have partnered with esports teams and leagues to put their logos and faces on the screens of millions of fans.


This is very healthy for the esports industry with outside support pouring in from companies that believe in the market’s growth. Here are just a few non-endemic brands that have put their stake in esports’ future.


  • Coca-Cola partners with Wild Rift Esports


GosuRabbit has covered the rise of mobile gaming in the past, and it certainly hasn’t slowed down since then. Wild Rift, the mobile version of League of Legends, is launching its first esports season this year, and the Coca-Cola Company is joining as a founding partner.


On March 24, Riot Games announced a multi-year partnership between Wild Rift Esports and Coca-Cola that is “the first of its kind in mobile gaming and esports.” Coca-Cola will reportedly focus on creating unique experiences for esports and gaming fans.


This non-endemic partnership will foster more fan engagement and promote the mobile esport for years to come. This is a key deal that will hopefully raise mobile gaming and esports leagues to more mainstream attention.


  • Usain Bolt becomes co-owner of Wylde


The fastest man in the world is now joining one of the fastest-growing industries. Eight-time gold medalist Usain Bolt is joining Irish esports organisation Wylde as a co-owner. Bolt said that he has been a gamer all of his life, but this is his first time dipping his toes into the industry.


Bolt is one of several athletes who have crossed over into the gaming world. David Beckham, Richard Sherman, and Steph Curry have all invested in esports teams across several video games, and they are bridging the gap between traditional sports and esports. With such a prominent athlete like Bolt joining the gaming sphere, it will only help esports be legitimised in the public eye.


  • Hard Rock Café houses esports events


Finally, let’s talk about the most recent announcement. Music-themed restaurant chain Hard Rock Café announced on March 30 that it has partnered with Kore Meltdown, an esports bar chain, to hold several esports events such as watch parties and tournaments in the U.S., according to Forbes.


Other venues such as movie theatres have opened their doors to live-viewings of popular esports events, and Hard Rock Café is looking to draw in younger people to its restaurants. Not only is this a great way to bring in new customers, but it creates social environments for esports fans to hang out together and watch their favourite teams.


As more non-endemic brands hop on the esports and gaming bandwagon, the industry will continue to grow. Having outside support reinforces the power of video games in popular culture and the economy as a whole.

GosuRabbit is a marketing agency that specialises in providing entertainment, esports and gaming marketing services for brands, businesses and agencies across the globe.

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