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'We have discovered the potential for individual future mobility': BMW on eSports


By Shawn Lim, Reporter, Asia Pacific

April 17, 2020 | 4 min read

German automotive giant BMW believes it has discovered the formula for addressing a younger target group when it comes to eSports and is keen to invest more in the sport.


The automotive maker had previously been the official partner of the European League of Legends finals in Paris in 2017.

In addition, it believes eSports improves the potential for individual future mobility, which means bringing more people together through the sport, according to BMW.

BMW will, from now on, partner with five of the world’s top eSports organisations. They are Cloud 9 (US), Fnatic (UK), Funplus Phoenix (China), G2 Esports (Germany) and T1 (South Korea), which each comprise up to 200 players battling it out above all in League of Legends.

The automotive maker had previously been the official partner of the European League of Legends finals in Paris in 2017 and two years later, coincide the conclusion of the SIM Racing season with the BMW SIM Live premiere at BMW Welt in Munich

According to Christophe Koenig, the media relations manager for eSports at BMW, the company has been observing the eSports environment for quite some time and feels it is the right time to grow its team portfolio into “true household names” within the general sports and entertainment industry.

“The global commitment supports the positioning of BMW as a brand by enabling us to make a younger and more modern impact. This global commitment allows us to significantly expand our communication activities in sports sponsorship,” Koenig explains to The Drum.

“We can implement new creative approaches and interact with a new target group. In the future, we will make greater use of our expertise in the areas of innovation and design and help shape the discipline.”

As consumers create communities around their favorite franchises and content through live and on-demand video content in social networks as well as new platforms like YouNow, Periscope, Meerkat, YouTube Gaming and Twitch, BMW wants to create and strengthen relationships to gain importance.

It will work with content creators to support the promotion of talent and collaborative work plays a key role here.

“We are continuously monitoring new platforms such as TikTok and Twitch. We successfully used Twitch for the launch of the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupé for example,” adds Koenig.

The partnerships formed with the eSports teams are based in BMW’s main markets. Koenig explains what its national sales companies do locally with the teams to support the eSports engagement is adapted to local requirements and opportunities.

“And if we see a potential for global communication of local contents then we are flexible enough to bring it on a global level,” he adds.

Brands like Razer, Riot Games and Singtel have been keen to also fully exploit eSports ‘Games as a Service’ model as it holds a lot of promise in terms of accessibility even in its infancy.

They believe that experimenting with it may reap early rewards when working with gaming platforms or forming a partnership with network operators.

There is also an opportunity for brands to use 5G to create new experiences that can be delivered on-ground to engage their consumers as more eSports-specific venues pop up across the world.

Over the long term, marketers believe eSports will rival the biggest traditional sports leagues in terms of future opportunities.

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