Digital comms agency Kairos Media's eSports drive has gathered steam with the acquisition of professional eSports brand Lightning Pandas and the signing of West Ham’s former Fifa eSports Sean ‘Dragonn’ Allen to that team.
The Lightning Pandas brand was co-founded in 2014 by Kairos Media co-founder, Michael Craddock, and professional Call of Duty player, Shane ‘ShAnE’ McKerral, becoming a prominent name in the space on YouTube. The team had been retired for a handful of years however, with the agency keen to rejuvenate it.
Further to this acquisition, the agency has also signed up eSports player Sean ‘Dragonn’ Allen - who was the first Fifa eSports player to sign with a Premier League football team in West Ham, a pioneering deal that unearthed a new trend that The Drum investigated. That deal, however, has come to a close.
The deal goes through just in time for the launch of EA Sport’s Fifa 18, the annual update to the football simulation that features a unique brand tie-in with Coca-Cola that sees the soda company sponsor fictional, virtual athlete Alex Hunter.
Rahul Uppal, eSports Manager at Kairos, told The Drum: “Historically, Kairos Media was co-founded by Michael Craddock, an ex-YouTuber and competitive gamer, and as such, we have monitored the eSports sector for several years, both as fans and potential investors. As the company has successfully established itself as a leading social media focused digital communications agency, we believe we’re now in a position to utilise our knowledge and resources within eSports.”
He added that “eSports is the next major evolution of modern sports”, in addition to serving as “one of the fastest growing entertainment industries in the world”.
Allen joins the Lightning Pandas team immediately, representing it for the full season. “In addition to this, Kairos will also leverage our resources as a talent and marketing agency to build Sean’s online presence across YouTube, Twitch and any other relevant social channels.”
Allen said: “I couldn't be happier to join the Lightning Pandas and become their first esports player. The experience, resources and knowledge of the company presents me with an invaluable opportunity to progress as a player and build my online presence. This is a massive move in the right direction for me and I’m really excited for the future.”