Will eSports clothing overtake traditional sports products? – WWD
E-sports products are on the rise and could end the year warmer than traditional sportswear.
It would take a lot to achieve this, given the quantities produced by companies for traditional sports franchises such as replica jerseys, uniforms and branded fan gear, but with mainstream sports still threatened by COVID-19, Electronic sports have fewer obstacles to overcome to become the most watched sport this year.
And that means an opportunity for merchandise sales.
This year saw the opening of 100 Thieves’ first store, located at its Culver City, Calif. Facility where players can train and stream. Accessories brand GLD launched its latest collaboration with FaZe Clan via member FaZe Banks, and Champion released a collection for NBA 2K.
Andbox offered collections for New York Subliners Thomas “ZooMaa” Paparatto and Dillon “Attach” Price players, the SBB collection for New York member Excelsior Saebyeolbe, as well as the 1st Collection by 1st, real name Brian Alcazar , and Creative Director Maxwell Osborne, and recently a collection with CdnThe3rd, better known as Ceez, which sold out in eight minutes.
FaZe Clan ditched a merchandise collection for player FaZe Swagg and crossed into the pop culture world by partnering with the Juice Wrld fire camp on a collection as well as the NFL on a line for the NFL Draft. ; Manchester City on a collaboration to mark their two-year partnership, and Anti Social Social Club at the end of August.
The Tempo Storm e-sports franchise has expanded its product line with designs by acclaimed Reddit artist Andre Rojas, also known as SrGrafo, with all proceeds from the collection going to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund; Team Liquid did the same in June.
The fashion industry has also made greater strides in esports and gaming, with Marc Jacobs, Valentino, GCDS, Anna Sui, Sandy Liang and others adding outfits to the Nintendo Switch social simulation game Animal Crossing. : New Horizons. Givenchy also made her debut with in-game makeup and Gillette Venus did “skin-clusive” designs.
But outside of the digital world, former FaZe Clan leaders have moved away from the organization to create the inclusive games organization Xset, and Gen.G has signed Heron Preston as a creative advisor. He will be designing products for the organization, including two that will launch during the League of Legends tournament this year. Riot Games has also teamed up with Jordan on an Air Jordan 1 High Zoom sneaker inspired by the League of Legends tournament and with Aape by A Bathing Ape on a collection of limited edition clothing and special skins – the player talks about the outfit and character look – for League of Legends True Damage character Yasuo.
While League of Legends is one of the most recognized esports leagues thanks to former partners such as Louis Vuitton, the Overwatch and Call of Duty leagues are also gaining the attention of non-gaming companies. United Airlines, for example, is in partnership with the New York Excelsior.
Although major professional sports have resumed this summer, traditional sports leagues are still dependent on supporters in the stands, and some argue that the competition is less exciting without a real audience. Esports leagues also benefit from live audiences, but thrive on the internet. While athletes are only visible during competition, players also stream their game online to viewers and fans between tournaments and during the off-season, resulting in more airtime.
More traditional athletes are also broadcasting gameplay between games and during their offseason, and some players competed in tournaments on ESPN when the NBA season was postponed this year. The NBA, NFL, and professional sports bring visibility to the game by partnering with esports organizations to deliver gameplay, which in turn introduces the organizations to new viewers and fans. Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons recently joined FaZe Clan as an investor and official named ‘FaZe Simmo’, while LeBron James’ son Bronny James was announced days later as FaZe Bronny. Although Simmons has been playing with the FaZe Clan since 2018, the move means he’s now officially a member – an affiliation that is revealing for the future of pro sports and esports.