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

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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: Latest News at European Gaming Media

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Ubisoft to Support Ultra’s UOS Blockchain Testnet

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Games distribution platform Ultra has announced that Ubisoft has become the first major gaming company to bolster its UOS blockchain, as a corporate block producer, during a trial period on the testnet.

Block producers will provide the infrastructure to validate transactions happening on Ultra’s blockchain. These transactions will include, for instance, in-game assets creation, ownership transfers between players or payments.

Ultra’s blockchain mainnet launch date is to be announced. Ubisoft will start contributing to the testnet before the end of the year and, if successful, will be part of the launch team for the Mainnet.

“Since Ubisoft is already a leader in the games industry and shows commitment to probe blockchain as a viable technology for games, we are very excited to be announcing our first cooperation of this kind with them. Ubisoft’s rich portfolio of world-renowned brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance and Far Cry, is a testament to their dedication to creating quality content for all, and their years long dedication to exploring blockchain technology ensures they have the knowledge and skills to be excellent block producers,” Nicolas Gilot, Founder and Co-CEO of Ultra said.

“Our team at the Strategic Innovation Lab strongly believes that all Blockchain use cases that bring value to players are important to support, and Ultra offers a solution that does just that. During this first trial period of collaboration, we hope to help them in bringing it to a larger scale and experiment with the possibilities this opens up for the industry,” Nicolas Pouard, Ubisoft’s Blockchain Initiative Director said.

“We’re on a mission to shake up the gaming industry by placing power back into the hands of developers and players. We are paving the way for a first-class game publishing platform, and we couldn’t do it without the support of companies such as Ubisoft,” Nicolas Gilot said.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Ubisoft to Support Ultra’s UOS Blockchain Testnet

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PA Commonwealth Court Rules Pennsylvania Skill Video Game Machines are Slot Machines

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The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has ruled that the video game machines manufactured and distributed by the company POM under the name “Pennsylvania Skill” are considered “slot machines” under Pennsylvania law.

“With this decision, we urge the Pennsylvania State Police, the Office of Attorney General, police departments and District Attorneys across the state to enforce Pennsylvania law to halt the proliferation of thousands of illegal Pennsylvania Skill slot machines now in convenience stores, bars, restaurants and other establishments in communities across the state,” Thomas C. Bonner, Group VP / Legal & Chief Counsel for Parx Casino said.

“We know that illegal slot machines and full-blown illegal casinos are popping up all over Pennsylvania. We know that minors are gambling, and we know that the state Lottery is losing tens of millions of dollars that should be going to our seniors because of these illegal machines. It’s time to confiscate these machines and put these illegal casinos out of business,” Bonner added.

The Commonwealth Court’s clarification that the “Pennsylvania Skill” games are “slot machines” under Pennsylvania law provides concrete and clear legal justification for law enforcement at the state and local levels to confiscate such machines and prosecute those responsible for manufacturing, distributing, leasing, or owning these machines.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: PA Commonwealth Court Rules Pennsylvania Skill Video Game Machines are Slot Machines

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UK ASA Clears Merkur Over Bus Ticket Promotion

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The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has cleared Merkur Cashino of targeting children with its advertising, after a £5 free-play offer on the back of a bus ticket prompted a complaint against the operator.

The complaint was against a promotion that appeared on the back of a child’s bus ticket in Birmingham and read “£5 Free Plays on a machine of your choice with this ticket.”

Rule 16.3.13 of the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code) states that gambling marketing must not be directed at those aged under 18, either through content or by where it appears. Gambling advertising is deemed to be directed towards children if under 18s make up more than 25% of their audience.

Merkur responded to the complaint by arguing that TicketMedia, the advertising agency behind the promotion, had confirmed to them that on the bus routes on which they advertised across the UK, 23.1% of ticket-holding passengers were between 5 and 15 years of age. In addition, Merkur said that the content and design of the ad had no specific appeal to under 18s, and an “over 18” symbol was included.

“We considered that in areas where there might be a concentration of people under 18 (for example on a bus route which served schools) the proportion of under 18s in the ad’s audience might be higher than 25%. However, on the particular bus route identified by the complainant, the highest percentage of child-fare paper tickets issued was 15% during term time,” the ASA said.

Source: Latest News at European Gaming Media
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: UK ASA Clears Merkur Over Bus Ticket Promotion

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