The Premier League football club West Ham are to join forces with the Dutch esports brand Bundled. The pair announced a new two-year partnership that will run from the beginning of the 2019-20 FIFA esports season.
West Ham were one of the first UK football clubs to get serious about esports. Their partnership with Bundled will be augmented by two new esports players who will play in West Ham colours. There will also be a limited edition West Ham esports jersey made available throughout the campaign.
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WHAT WILL BUNDLED BRING TO WEST HAM?
West Ham are seeking to use Bundled’s expertise in the field of esports to boost their presence in the competitive gaming realm. The East London football club are already a big name in the FIFA gaming world, but Bundled will help West Ham strengthen their toehold in contests for the sports simulator and beyond.
Bundled operate in many areas of esports. With a track record of organising competitive gaming events and creating exclusive digital content, the Dutch company have grown to become a name to be reckoned with in esports.
FIFA is a big part of Bundled’s activity. The esports company have coached and managed the performances of many pro gamers including 30 top FIFA stars. As part of the deal, Bundled FIFA players like ‘Yago’ Gabriel Fawaz and ‘Jas’ Singh will join the West Ham esports team.
Yago has built up a strong reputation for his gaming skills with Club Atletico Independiente, and Jas managed to get to the ePremier League semi-finals with Chelsea.
WEST HAM’S BID TO NURTURE ESPORTS TALENT
West Ham have made a pretty good start in the Premier League this season, but the club are taking extra steps to become a big name in esports. The East London side were the first Premier League club to sign a pro gamer when they snapped up Sean ‘Dragonn’ Allen in 2016.
Previous sponsorship deals for West Ham have included esports betting brands such as Betway esports, but the move to team up with Bundled shows a new sense of ambition. Many top football clubs like Manchester City have found great success in fielding their own esports teams, and West Ham are keen to dominate this relatively new market.
Although Premier League clubs earn a huge amount of money, boosting their brand image by entering other industries is critical in ensuring their long-term viability. Esports has traditionally been looked down upon by traditional sports, but as gamers start to mature, there could be a gradual blending of these two competitive activities.
Many sporting institutions have made fairly heavy-handed attempts to cater to a younger demographic through esports. But by capitalising on the expertise of Bundled, West Ham will be hoping to deliver content that is fresh and relevant for a gaming audience.
So while West Ham’s football team might not be able to compete with Premier League title contenders like Liverpool and Manchester City, they could enjoy a much richer future through their esports ventures.
Image Courtesy: West Ham United Football Club