eSports McDonald's sponsorship

Australian teams of the StarCraft II World Championship (WCS) eSports Series will be chowing down free cheeseburgers thanks the official partner, McDonald’s.

Starcraft II WCS has made a return via a live setting this year – a public tournament last took place in 2012 – thanks to a partnership between Blizzard, ESL and Australian gaming publisher, You Know Media.

The tournament has added two new Australian events – the first event took place on Saturday, June 24, at Sydney’s ESL studio, with another Australian-based event scheduled for later in the year.

But what really makes the tournament unique is the sponsorship by the fast food chain – it is the first time Blizzard’s StarCraft 2 World Championship is being sponsored.

The Australian-only sponsorships will, in turn, allow McDonald’s to oversee content integration, naming and branding and on-ground activations.

You Know Media CEO, Ryan Cunningham, said Australian eSports players are “hungry for brands to help take them to the next level.”

“Credit should go to Blizzard who recognised the potential in a new partnership like this which grows the category and challenges how brand sponsorships can enhance and grow sports,” he added.

The sponsorships will also provide support to the players and allow them to compete internationally.

“Australian eSports players and audiences have been crying out for support to compete on the international and professional level,” Cunningham said.

“We tapped into our partnerships with the biggest eSports brands in the world, Blizzard and ESL, to create a truly unique opportunity that uses the strengths of each partner to bring something amazing to life.”

The Australian franchise is not the first to get in on the eSports action.

McDonald’s in Sweden made a small step into the eSports scene in 2014 when it released eSports themed burgers.

McDonald’s in the US also had a taste when it sponsored the Madden Bowl tournament.

The Starcraft II WCS deal follows the announcement of McDonald’s global headquarters pulling its sponsorship of the Olympic Games – Intel has since taken over.

McDonald’s also sponsors local sporting clubs, which has been slammed by health advocates since the food chain is known for its unhealthy food.

Regardless, the announcement that the popular chain is helping Australian eSports is promising for the industry and coincides with the new partnership between Australian company, Seven West Media Limited and St George Bank for the new multi-channel eSports show called ScreenPLAY.

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