General Mills has announced its sponsorship of Yahoo's weekly ESports Live programme through Reese's Puff Cereal.
After being acquired by Verizon for $4.8 billion this summer, the company joined Verizon’s growing media portfolio that includes AOL and its subsidiaries, The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget.
With its new parent company, Yahoo has continued to leverage its strengths, including its sports and fantasy sports platforms, and has narrowed its focus to one of the quickest growing facets of the sports industry, ESports.
In general in 2014, 205 million people watched or played ESports, according to market research firm Newzoo. According to video-streaming site, Twitch, with 55 million users, over 2 million viewers tuned in for the ESL One: Cologne 2015 and the League of Legends NA LCS Finals that took place in August 2015.
Yahoo wants in on the action and launched its own ESports platform in March of this year, covering games including League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Street Fighter V, Heroes of the Storm, as well as showing personalities and celebrities in the ESports industry.
To kick-off its live coverage, Yahoo signed a two-year distribution and content deal with gaming network, Electronic Sports Leagues. With the partnership with ESL, Yahoo will work to bring ESports to a larger audience across the Yahoo properties.
“ESL in a unique position to be able to offer access to some of the world’s best ESports competition, and having a partner like Yahoo ESports means we won’t only reach a broader audience with a supreme quality broadcast, but also deliver exclusive editorial content for ESports fans worldwide,” said Nik Adams, senior vice president of sales at ESL, in a statement.
On the sponsorship side, Yahoo named General Mills as the first sponsor for their new weekly show, Yahoo ESports Live. Weekly, Yahoo will create two 30-minute segments, Late Night League and Tilted, airing live on Mondays from 3-4 p.m. PST on Yahoo ESports and Twitch.
The first 30 minutes will be a talk show format dedicated to discussing the biggest ESports, including League of Legends. The second segment will be a roundtable format featuring in-house experts that brings news, sneaks peeks, special guests and more, according to Yahoo.
“Consumers are more engaged with live content than ever and, with this new programming across Yahoo ESports, we’re giving our users more of the shows they want while opening up tremendous opportunities for advertisers,” said Lisa Utzschneider, chief revenue officer for Yahoo, in a statement.
During the Yahoo segments, General Mills will have custom branded segments and video advertising and will use it to connect with fans as they roll out their new Reese’s Puffs Cereal campaign.
“As a leader in the emerging ESports space and an experienced player in live programming, Yahoo was the obvious choice for our new campaign for Reese’s Puffs,” said Devin Kunysz, marketing manager, Reese's Puffs, General Mills, in a statement. “We’ve found a really unique way to connect with our audience around the new Yahoo ESports Live, so that we’re able to not only entertain and engage fans around our brand, but drive results for our business.”