The BMW brand is currently engaged in a major expansion of its involvement in the world of computer, online and simulation games (esports), a field that’s been continuously growing in popularity, especially among the next-generation target group.
As far back as 2017, BMW first attracted attention in the world of virtual sports as the official partner of the European League of Legends finals in Paris. And by 2019 and the successful SIM Racing season concluded by the BMW SIM LIVE premiere at BMW Welt in Munich, BMW had firmly moved into being a major player in esports. But above all, the BMW brand now supports some of the most influential and successful esports teams and strives to promote the esports discipline as a whole.
The esports sector has maintained stellar growth rates for years. More and more gamers from a wide variety of countries compete online in both sports and non-sports simulations – as well as in popular offline events held all over the globe.
“Esports shows us how sports entertainment can continue to thrive and play a key role considering today’s challenges. Our entry into esports is motivated by a commitment to become a sustainable, global partner, supporting the teams and the discipline as a whole, before, during and after these times of uncertainty,” says Jens Thiemer, Senior Vice President Customer and Brand BMW.
To firmly establish itself as a new major player in esports, BMW will from now on partner five of the world’s top esports organisations. Cloud 9 (US), Fnatic (UK), Funplus Phoenix (China), G2 Esports (Germany) and T1 (South Korea) each comprise up to 200 players battling it out above all in the League of Legends. Launched in late 2009, this fantasy multi-player game is the most popular and influential online game around, with a daily total of up to eight million players from all over the world logged in concurrently. To innumerable fans, League of Legends (LoL) is the premier esports category. Last year’s LoL World Championship Finals in the AccorHotels Arena in Paris attracted an online audience of approx. 44 million fans worldwide viewing the live stream at home. On top of that, there are also other disciplines such as Dota 2, FIFA, Fortnite or Rocket League that the teams compete in all over the world, in tournaments of comparable size that will also be supported and promoted by BMW. The BMW brand will not only act as a strong sponsor for these top teams but also as a powerful partner to introduce the esports discipline to an even wider audience. “Our long-term goal is to grow our team portfolio into true household names within the general sports and entertainment industry,” says Jens Thiemer.
Key visual (Illustration: BMW)