US drinks conglomerate AB InBev has signed a new partnership with game publisher Activision Blizzard, owner of global esports property the Overwatch League.
Under the deal, AB InBev’s Bud Light will become the first Official Beer of the Overwatch League, with rights to activate at fan watch parties in all territories expect China.
A key feature of the partnership will be AB InBev’s increased exposure during the Overwatch League’s Dallas and Atlanta Bud Light Homestand Weekends and the LA Rivalry Weekend.
During all three events – taking place in April and July this year – Bud Light will sponsor Overwatch League broadcasts on ABC and ESPN2.
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AB InBev and Bud Light will also activate at the Overwatch League’s 2019 Grand Final. Outside the US, AB InBev will activate in markets such as Canada, the UK and South Korea.
Bud Light was an early entrant into esports sponsorship, launching its Bud Light Esports All-Stars documentary series in 2016. During its first year, the All-Stars series generated more than 3.6 million minutes of viewing time on streaming platform Twitch.
The Overwatch League’s partnership structure is divided into two tiers: Global Partners and Regional Partners.
The league now has four Global Partners: AB InBev, Coca-Cola, Intel and Hewlett Packard; and three Regional Partners: State Farm, T-Mobile, and Toyota. All three Regional Partner deals cover North America only.
The Overwatch League kicked off its 2019 season in February to a sold-out Blizzard Arena Los Angeles. The opening match-day attracted more than 13 million global viewers, a 30-per-cent increase in viewership year over year.