Gfinity and The Sun announce deal to grow eSports in UK

Gfinity, the UK’s leading eSports company, and News UK have today announced a major partnership agreement.

This is an exciting opportunity to combine the heritage of The Sun’s award-winning sports journalism and its ability to engage mass audiences, with Gfinity’s leadership in eSports promotion and its position as the top destination for gamers in the UK and around the world.

The deal is the first such major media agreement signed by Gfinity and will enable the company to grow the Gfinity Championships, which runs annually from March – September at the UK’s first and only dedicated eSports arena at Vue Fulham Broadway, the Gfinity Arena.

The agreement with The Sun signals the growing popularity of eSports in the UK. The partnership will lead to an increase in audience figures, create new revenue streams, through developments such as an e-commerce platform, and provide an opportunity to uncover the next generation of eSport stars.

Neville Upton, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gfinity, said:

“This is not a simple sponsorship agreement but a strategic partnership that will enable both parties to improve, develop and grow the UK’s evolving eSports sector.”

The two-year contract will see The Sun newspaper become Official Partner of the Gfinity Championship Series for 2015-2016 and title sponsor of the UK Championship Series for 2015-2016.

Furthermore, News UK will benefit from a suite of rights including broadcast advertising, in-game branding, digital advertising, venue branding, content, and direct marketing. The partnership package will establish The Sun as the biggest supporter of eSports in the UK.

Readers of The Sun will get priority access to tickets and exclusive access to never-before-seen feature footage and interviews from Gfinity events. Both parties are working together on the development of an e-commerce platform, through which they intend to sell eSports related merchandise.

Neville Upton adds:

“We are delighted to have signed this agreement with News UK, one of the largest media companies in the UK. The organisation’s faith in Gfinity is testament to the exceptional quality of product we already have on offer. The backing of such a large organisation is not only great news for us but also a huge boost to the UK’s burgeoning eSports sector.”

Over the course of the partnership, News UK and Gfinity will work together to identify and support the UK’s most promising eSports teams, while also developing a national structure linking grassroots eSports gamers to elite competitions and providing them with a clear pathway to success. In addition to the sponsorship rights, News UK will also use its proven expertise in engaging audiences to develop Gfinity’s online advertising programme.

Mike Darcey, CEO of News UK, said:

“Through our new partnership with Gfinity, we are proud to have become the first newspaper group to break into the expanding eSports market. Producing world-class journalism is at the heart of what News UK does, but as part of our business development strategy we actively seek out opportunities to reach new audiences through different media. We now look forward to uncovering new commercial opportunities and relationships in this exciting new sector.”