ESforce Esports Holding Company have signed a deal with MediaMarkt, a large operator in consumer electronic retail. The MediaMarkt chain includes over 800 stores spanning 15 countries.
The announcement states that the companies ” intend to develop a mutual cooperation on the high-potential esports market, which will include support for professional and amateur team tournaments and local MediaMarkt tournaments, as well as launching co-branding projects with the participation of esports stars.”
The deal was facilitated by Media Direction Sport agency, and they will continue to offer support, development and implementation services for the activation of programs by the partnership.
According to PayPal and SuperData estimates, by the end of 2016 the Russian esports market became one of Europe’s largest, reaching $35.4 million. The recognition of esports as an official sports discipline and the organisation of international tournaments with large prize pools such as EPICENTER has been eyed as the cause for the recent growth. As a result, gaming equipment and associated merchandise sales have already risen and analysts predict the trend will continue.
The first fruits of the partnership will be shown at EPICENTER: Moscow, an international esports tournament playing host to some of the world’s best Dota 2 teams. The tournament will take place between June 4th and 11th at the VTB Ice Palace in Moscow.
The first stage of the cooperation will consist in joint work at Epicenter: Moscow, an international esports tournament in Dota 2. For a multi-million audience of esports enthusiasts, this is one of the chief events of the year. The tournament will be held on June 4–11 at the VTB Ice Palace in Moscow.
Additionally, the players of Virtus.pro will participate in MediaMarkt’s advertising campaigns and media projects aimed at wider audiences. MediaMarkt has also committed to broadening its range of gaming equipment and accessories, including selling dedicated team-branded apparel.
Guido Rehm, General Director of MediaMarkt Russia, said: “Focusing on innovations is part of MediaMarkt’s business strategy; therefore, the partnership with the ESforce esports holding will mark a new stage in the ‘digitalization’ of our company. Esports has an enormous potential; in 2016 alone, gaming equipment and accessories sales doubled. Together with ESforce, we will develop projects on the fast-growing market which will attract a multi-million audience of gamers and fans. The initiatives planned for 2017 are only the beginning of our cooperation with ESforce”.
Anton Leontiev, Managing Director of Media Direction Sport, remarked: “This is the first project of such a scale, which provides great opportunities for implementing and activating a 360-degree format partnership in the area of esports in Russia. For our agency, Media Direction Sports, this initiative opens up new prospects in working in a new, fast-growing area.”
Esports Insider says: Big news for ESforce and Russian esports. MediaMarkt are a huge company and they’ve obviously got substantial plans. EPICENTER was one of the best Dota 2 events last year so we’ll see if they can make it even better this time around.