FC Bayern Munich, the well-known German soccer club, has made its first steps toward becoming a member of the esports community.
Announced in a press release on Monday, the club is partnering up with EA Sports, a very familiar name in the esports industry, to increase the authenticity of FC Bayern Munich in the FIFA 17 game.
A comprehensive global partnership
With cross-marketing and content collaboration initiatives, the partnership is aimed at increasing the authenticity of FC Bayern in FIFA 17.
High-quality facial scans of players, such as Thomas Mueller, Kingsley Coman, and Manuel Neuer, as well as the detailed sights, sounds, and experience of being in Allianz Arena, should make the club appear more real in the game.
The Allianz Arena in Munich will also get an upgrade: FIFA 17 gaming pods will be placed throughout the arena for fans to use.
Said Jamie McKinlay, vice president of marketing at Electronic Arts (EA):
“Creating the most immersive, authentic experiences for our players is our goal, which is why a partnership like this one, with one of the top clubs in the world, is important for us. With access to Bayern players and the Allianz Arena, we’re able to bring players closer to the game and the club – as well as plan exclusive opportunities for our players to connect with the team beyond the game.”
Even though the partnership doesn’t currently directly affect esports, it’s great to see another major traditional sports club getting involved in esports. The German club might soon follow in the footsteps of other well-known sport organizations, such as Schalke 04, Valencia, and Manchester United, which recently got involved in esports.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO of FC Bayern, commented:
“We realize gaming is a powerful tool for reaching millions of engaged fans around the world. We also know the size of the gaming community continues to rise. Therefore our partnership with EA Sports is a very important step for our future.
Two leading global brands partnering ultimately brings tremendous value to our fans in Germany, the US, and worldwide.”
Traditional sports clubs showing an increased amount of engagement in esports
FC Schalke 04, the German soccer club that got involved in esports last spring, has now taken another step to strengthen its presence in the competitive gaming environment.
After adding three FIFA players and a coach to its esports division, the club has recently announced a tournament that will serve to scout new FIFA player talent. The winner, besides being rewarded with box seats for a Bundesliga game, will also enjoy an esports spotlight. The crowning will happen at the VELTINS Arena on Aug. 12.
Additionally, Sporting Clube de Portugal, the Lisbon-based sports club, launched a FIFA competition last month. Lion Games will award its winner with a player contract.
The growing interest of traditional sports clubs in the esports scene has received increased attention in recent months. Considering the audience growth and the expansion of the competitive industry itself, it makes a lot of sense for those clubs to seek new opportunities for acquiring esports talent.
Including Schalke 04 and Sporting Clube de Portugal, a total of 12 professional sports teams became involved in esports in various ways during the last two years.
In 2015, Istanbul’s Beşiktaş opened an esports club, VFL Wolfsburg acquired a FIFA pro player, Santos FC formed a partnership with Dexterity Team, and Saski Baskonia formed Baskonia Esports, a League of Legends team.
This year, Clube do Remo partnered with Brave e-Sports, West Ham United signed a FIFA pro player, Schalke 04 entered esports by acquiring a League of Legends team, U.C. Sampdoria signed a FIFA pro player, and Valencia showed interest in FIFA, Hearthstone, and Rocket League.
Additionally, Manchester United and FC Volga Ulyanovsk each signed a FIFA pro player.
All this, coupled with the fact that so much is happening in such a short period of time, is great news and shows it’s just the beginning.
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