The Overwatch League on Wednesday announced that it has hired Daniel Siegel, former WME-IMG vp worldwide licensing, in the newly created position of head of esports licensing.
Siegel will help drive extended investment in the entire Overwatch esports ecosystem, which features 12 teams representing major cities in Asia, Europe and North America and financial backers such as New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Sacramento Kings co-owner Andy Miller.
“We’re thrilled to see what Daniel can do for our highly-engaged fans given his wealth of experience and tremendous track record with iconic global sports and entertainment brands over the years,” said Pete Vlastelica, president and CEO of Blizzard Entertainment’s Major League Gaming division. “Licensing and partnerships have become an increasingly important part of how the Overwatch brand is promoted and presented to esports fans all over the world. We very much look forward to working with Daniel to create new ways for fans to connect with their favorite Overwatch teams and heroes.”
Officially launched in January, the Overwatch League holds competitive matches of Blizzard’s best-selling first-person shooter game at the Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in Burbank. Sponsors for the league include HP, Intel, Toyota, T-Mobile and Sour Patch Kids, with streaming service Twitch as the exclusive worldwide third-party digital broadcaster. The opening week of competition drew over 10 million viewers.
“There’s been such an overwhelming response for both real-world and virtual merchandise for the Overwatch League,” said Siegel. “But we haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s possible when it comes to creating an immersive, multiplatform experience for fans. We can’t wait to bring them more innovative goods and services to help them celebrate their favorite Overwatch heroes.”
At WME-IMG, Siegel was responsible for developing and implementing licensing strategies for IMG’s clients, securing worldwide rights to represent a number of automotive brands, including Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge and Ram. He also managed the new licensing partnerships on behalf of entertainment clients including EA Sports, ESPN, Wayne Gretzky, Serena Williams and 20th Century Fox.