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Overwatch League and Fanatics Team up for Groundbreaking Retail, Licensing, and Ecommerce Deal

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Overwatch League and Fanatics Team up for Groundbreaking Retail, Licensing, and Ecommerce DealReading Time: 3 minutes

 

Fanatics will become the official retail partner of the Overwatch League

The first-ever esports deal for Fanatics includes omnichannel retail and fan gear manufacturing rights

 

The Overwatch League announced a groundbreaking, multi-year deal with Fanatics, the global leader for licensed sports merchandise, which will provide the Overwatch League fanbase with an omnichannel retail experience along with a significantly expanded assortment of products. The agreement marks the first-ever foray into the rapidly expanding global esports industry for Fanatics and is the first of its kind between a major retailer and an official esports league.

The deal is highlighted by Fanatics securing U.S. and international rights to produce Overwatch League jerseys, fan gear, headwear, and hard goods sold across all retail and wholesale channels. Under the new agreement, both parties also will work collaboratively to identify and secure additional world-class companies to grow the overall assortment of high-quality products available to fans. In addition, Fanatics will establish a new global ecommerce and mobile shopping platform and operate on-site retail for all league events.

“Our collaboration with Fanatics—the first between a major esports league and a global sports merchandising company—allows us to reach even more fans and to provide them with high-quality merchandise and a best-in-class retail experience where they can shop for all our great Overwatch League gear,” said Brandon Snow, chief revenue officer of Activision Blizzard Esports Leagues. “Fanatics has a proven track record of success with major sports brands and we’re excited to work with them in expanding this part of our business.”

Fanatics—utilizing an innovative vertical manufacturing model, combining extensive licensing rights with on-demand manufacturing and an agile supply chain—will design and quickly distribute high-quality Overwatch League fan gear across all categories, including merchandise for league events and championships.

“The demand for team gear during our inaugural season was very strong,” said Daniel Siegel, head of esports licensing for Blizzard Entertainment. “A significant number of fans—for regular-season matches at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and at the Grand Finals in Brooklyn—showed up in jerseys to support their teams, and we’re thrilled to make it even easier for them to represent their favorite teams and players.”

“Esports has been on our radar for some time now and we are incredibly excited to mark our first deal with the best in the world in Activision Blizzard around their incredibly successful Overwatch League,” said Ross Tannenbaum, head of special projects for Fanatics. “Our omnichannel retail capabilities and real-time vertical manufacturing model will ensure that Overwatch League fans across the globe have unprecedented access to a wide assortment of merchandise to be able to show their passion and pride for the teams and players they love, whether shopping online, on their phone, or at one of many league events.”

The agreement between the Overwatch League and Fanatics will be implemented before the start of the 2019 Overwatch League season, which kicks off on February 14. At that time, Overwatch League gear will be available on a dedicated e-store and on select sites across Fanatics’ global network.

The new online storefronts will be the first to sell gear for the Overwatch League’s new expansion teams: Atlanta Reign, Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Paris Eternal, Toronto Defiant, Vancouver Titans, and the Washington Justice. Fanatics will operate on-site retail stores for all Overwatch League regular-season matches at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and for other league events.

Further details about the official launch of the new Overwatch League ecommerce platform and the 2019 season will be announced at a later date.

 

About the Overwatch League™:

The Overwatch League™ is the first major global professional esports league with city-based teams across Asia, Europe, and North America. Overwatch® was created by globally acclaimed publisher Blizzard Entertainment (a division of Activision Blizzard—Nasdaq: ATVI), whose iconic franchises have helped lay the foundations and push the boundaries of professional esports over the last 15 years. The latest addition to Blizzard’s stable of twenty-two #1 games,[1] Overwatch was built from the ground up for online competition, with memorable characters and fast-paced action designed for the most engaging gameplay and spectator experiences. To learn more about the Overwatch League, visit www.overwatchleague.com.

About Fanatics:

As the global leader in licensed sports merchandise, Fanatics is changing the way fans purchase their favorite team apparel and jerseys through an innovative, tech-infused approach to making and selling fan gear in today’s on-demand culture. Operating multi-channel commerce for the world’s biggest sports brands, Fanatics offers the largest collection of timeless and timely merchandise whether shopping online, on your phone, in stores, in stadiums or on-site at the world’s biggest sporting events.

© 2018 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. OVERWATCH, OVERWATCH LEAGUE, BLIZZARD, and BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT are trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries.

[1] Sales and/or downloads, based on internal company records and reports from key distribution partners.


Source: European Gaming Media

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Microgaming presents a world filled with magic and enchanted riches with Book of Oz

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Microgaming presents a world filled with magic and enchanted riches with Book of OzReading Time: 2 minutes

 

Microgaming releases Book of Oz, the latest slot developed by Triple Edge Studios, an independent studio creating exclusive titles, such as Wicked Tales: Dark Red, for Microgaming operators.

Book of Oz is an enchanting five-reel, ten-payline, high-volatility online slot. Brimming with fantasy, magic and adventure, the game welcomes players into a world filled with enchanted riches.

Featuring Wilds, Scatters, Free Spins and Re-Spins, the fantasy themed slot encompasses whimsical art and captivating symbols, such as the lion of courage, the potion of love, the mystical wizard and the golden book, which are displayed on the reels to leave players spellbound as they spin to win magnificent rewards.

The Wizard’s Book acts as both a scatter and a wild, which can result in powerful wins. Three or more Book Scatter Symbols trigger 10, 12 or 25 free spins, providing players with the opportunity for more frequent feature triggers. High-paying expanding and illuminating symbols can potentially trigger wins of up to 5,000 times the initial bet in free spins.

The game’s Re-spin feature adds an element of thrill and excitement to the base game. After an initial wager, the player can pay to respin a single reel independently at an additional variable cost; for example, after a winning spin of four-of-a-kind Wizard symbols, the player can pay to spin the fifth reel to try to get five of a kind. Players can develop their own strategy within the base game after every result, including the opportunity to land more Wizard’s Book symbols to uncover the enchanted story within free spins.

Emerald riches lie in wait for players in Book of Oz, which will be available exclusively for Microgaming operators across desktop and mobile platforms from Tuesday 11 December.

“We are extremely excited to release Book of Oz, our fifth game this year under the Triple Edge Studios brand. This has been the most fun we’ve had developing a game and the Re-spin feature is a brilliantly fun addition. Bespoke hand-painted art was created to help tell our fantastical tale. Infused with fantasy and adventure, Book of Oz will leave players spellbound. Stay tuned for more exciting games from us in the future, which we will be supplying exclusively for Microgaming.” – Brendan Walton, Design Lead at Triple Edge Studios.

“Book of Oz is another fantastic creation by Triple Edge Studios enriched with magical artistry and packed with rich game mechanics. Players can listen to an intriguing soundtrack while immersing themselves in the game to uncover an enthralling storyline as they play. The Re-Spin feature adds a new dynamic twist to the overall gameplay, enhancing the level of engagement and it combines extremely well with the win potential in the game, where players can win up to 5,000 times their bet.” – David Reynolds, Games Publisher at Microgaming


Source: European Gaming Media

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Sportradar signs multi-year partnership with NASCAR

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Sportradar signs multi-year partnership with NASCARReading Time: 2 minutes

 

NASCAR has shown a strong commitment to protecting the integrity of their sport by announcing a multi-year partnership with Sportradar’s Integrity Services, the world’s leading supplier of sports betting-related monitoring, education, investigation and consultancy services.

 

As part of the agreement, Sportradar’s Fraud Detection System (FDS) will monitor domestic and global betting activity for signs of nefarious activity for all races across NASCAR’s three largest events: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Sportradar’s FDS is currently used by over 75 sports bodies around the world – including the NBA, NHL, MLS, FIFA and MotoGP.

NASCAR will also benefit from Sportradar’s Education and Prevention Services. This will include on-site workshops for NASCAR drivers, teams, officials and associated stakeholders delivered by Sportradar’s integrity and educational experts. In addition, Sportradar’s Integrity Services will also help NASCAR develop a fully-fledged betting integrity program, including robust betting-related rules and policies.

Sportradar’s Director, Global Strategy of Integrity Services, Andy Cunningham said: “We are honoured and excited to partner with NASCAR in what is an important time for US sports following the Supreme Court sports betting case decision earlier this year. We look forward to supporting NASCAR in installing a best-in-class integrity framework to protect their sport and its constituents.”

NASCAR VP of Global Media Strategy and Distribution, Brian Herbst, said: “It is critical to be proactive in developing safeguards that protect NASCAR’s on-track product from any potential integrity threats. Sportradar is the leader in this space and knowing that our races will be monitored extensively, while also equipping our industry with the tools and knowledge they require, gives us peace of mind in being able to preserve the integrity of NASCAR as the US wagering market continues to open.”

ABOUT NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series™), three regional series, one local grassroots series, three international series and the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com.


Source: European Gaming Media

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Calgary set to welcome eSports events

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Calgary set to welcome eSports eventsReading Time: 1 minute

 

The Calgary eSports League is teaming up with Telus Spark to bring competitive video-game events to Calgary. If successful, the industry can produce revenues of more than $1-billion next year.

Unlike cities including Toronto and Vancouver, Calgary has yet to establish a firm eSports community beyond a few Facebook groups and clubs.

Wes Nelson, spokesman for the Calgary eSports League, said he sees a market for the sport in Calgary.

“Almost all of the elements are in place for a healthy eSports community in Calgary, they just need to be brought together and given a boost in order to thrive,” Nelson added.

eSports offers a platform for the players to interact with the fans. On YouTube, where games are often streamed, five of the top 10 most popular and top-earning YouTubers make their money from video games.

There is a chance that eSports viewership to surpass the National Football League in total viewership by 2022, the Calgary league said.


Source: European Gaming Media

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