Fast food giant McDonalds last week announced a partnership with Blizzard to plaster their trademark Golden Arches across the Starcraft II World Championship Series in Australia. Mcdonald’s will have naming rights, branding, content integration and on the ground content activations, although the specific format that activation will take hasn’t yet been revealed.
The news was broken by AdNews, (http://www.adnews.com.au/news/mcdonald-s-signs-esports-sponsorship-deal) who have also reported that the sponsorship deal is only for Australia.
It’s McDonalds first real foray into esports, although they have sold several esports burgers in Sweden as a result of various promotional activities before this. It comes just a few days after McDonalds has cut its top-tier sponsorship of the forthcoming Olympic games, which has been picked up by Intel, who usually sponsor more esports events, so it’s all change.
It’s also the first time the WCS event has been live since 2012, after Blizzard, ESL and You Know Media have come together to put on the show.
“It’s a big step to support this growing sport and its huge local audience, which is hungry for brands to help take them to the next level. Credit should go to Blizzard who recognised the potential in a new partnership like this which grows the category and challenges how brand sponsorships can enhance and grow sports,” You Know Media CEO Ryan Cunningham said in a statement to AdNews.
“Australian esports players and audiences have been crying out for support to compete on the international and professional level.”
For McDonalds, the draw is a simple one. It gives them a direct line to male teenagers and young adults, a market they have tried to tap into with their grassroots sports sponsorship, but have attracted criticism for tying their brand to sports due to the whole giant unhealthy burgers thing they’ve got going on.