8:00am PT by Patrick Shanley
Overwatch League Team Partners With Lionsgate for Film Sponsorship Crossover (Exclusive)
One of Overwatch League's local teams, the LA Valiant, has partnered with the upcoming Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment comedy Uncle Drew in a deal that will see team members wearing branded jerseys for the new film.
The Valiant, owned by Lionsgate and esports organization Immortals, are the Pacific Division champions of Overwatch League's inaugural season. Fans can get a sneak peek at the new jerseys right away as the team will start wearing them today, just in time for the Stage 4 playoffs June 16.
“This collaboration with two of our partners, Lionsgate and PepsiCo, arms us with the resources, IP, and creative thinking to continue our goal of leading the esports world in innovation," said Ari Segal, president and COO of Immortals and the LA Valiant. “This partnership will integrate a major motion picture with a top esports team and its fan base in a deep and contextual way that’s never been attempted previously in this space.”
The partnership builds on a similar branding deal earlier this year between Starz's Ash vs Evil Dead and the Valiant.
“We saw incredible enthusiasm from LA Valiant fans when we announced our television jersey sponsorship around Stage 2 of Overwatch League, and with the LA Valiant winning the Pacific Division championship, we felt that Uncle Drew was the next logical fit,” said Peter Levin, Lionsgate president of interactive ventures, games and digital strategy. “This collaboration not only underscores the continued success of our investment in the leading esports franchise but our ability to create exciting cross-promotional opportunities around properties that we know will excite our fans.”
The LA Valiant are currently the second-ranked team in Overwatch League. The league's first finals will take place July 27-28 at the Barclays Center in New York City.
Uncle Drew — which stars NBA star Kyrie Irving in the titular role alongside Tiffany Haddish and basketball greats as Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller and WNBA star Lisa Leslie — follows a group of septuagenarian hard court stars as they get back into the game for one last tournament. The film opens June 29.