MediaMarkt (Russia) and the ESforce esports holding company have signed a deal on a long-term strategic partnership in the electronic-sports industry. 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.
Implementing a project of this kind has been made possible thanks to the Media Direction Sport agency, which acted as the operator for the deal, in addition to providing further support, development, and implementation of activation programs within the framework of the cooperation.
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. Last year saw electronic sports in Russia rise to a fundamentally new level. The recognition of esports as an official sports discipline and the organization of international tournaments with large prize pools resulted in a growth of public interest. This attention of audiences to esports has already led to increased sales of gaming equipment as well as merchandise. Analysts predict that this trend will be maintained in the future.
Guido Rehm, General Director of MediaMarkt Russia, noted: “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 Cherepennikov, co-owner of ESforce Holding, said: “The partnership with MediaMarkt is a comprehensive cooperation involving multiple projects by the ESforce Holding. Entering into a partnership with a company of this caliber was a strategic decision both for us and the Russian esports industry as a whole. We are convinced that the collaboration between ESforce and MediaMarkt will take esports in Russia to a qualitatively new level.”
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.”
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.
Per the partnership agreement with ESforce, the players of the leading professional team Virtus.Pro will participate in MediaMarkt’s advertising campaigns and media projects aimed at wide audiences. As part of these projects, the players will meet with fans and keep the gaming community up to date on the most interesting deals for gamers available at MediaMarkt stores across Russia.
In addition to the large-scale esports projects, MediaMarkt will broaden its range of gaming equipment and accessories. Team-branded apparel and souvenirs from the Fragstore e-shop will be available for fans to purchase at MediaMarkt stores and website.
MediaMarkt is the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing. Founded in 1979, the retail chain is part of Media-Saturn-Holding GmbH, which reached a 21.0 billion euro turnover in the 2012–13 fiscal year. MediaMarkt’s success is based in an extremely wide assortment of branded goods combined with competent personnel, outstanding customer service, powerful advertising and a decentralized organizational structure. The MediaMarkt chain includes over 800 stores in 15 countries. In Russia, the retail chain is developed by Media-Markt-Saturn, LLC. Since 2006, 50 stores have been opened in 26 Russian cities.
About ESForce Holding
ESforce Holding is one of the world’s largest esports organizations, and the leader in electronic sports in Russia. ESforce is a holding company that integrates all key areas of the esports business, from organizing international tournaments and professional content creation to publishing and advertising activities, as well as online retail sales of esports-themed merchandise.
ESforce owns over 180 popular online resources with a combined audience of 15 million followers and 40 million annual unique visitors, which provide an 80-percent reach to eSports broadcast viewers in Russia and the CIS, as well as access to a significant share of relevant international audiences.
About Media Direction Sport
MEDIA DIRECTION SPORT is a sports marketing agency, a member of Media Direction Group, an integrated communication agencies group (part of Omnicom Group).
Source: Press release