Aldi and Lidl have both entered into the world of esports this week signing separate partnerships with major teams.
Lidl became the first of the rival German discounters to sign a partnership with SK Gaming, a leading international esports organisation, marking its first foray into the sector.
The partnership will see Lidl provide SK Gaming, which also partners with major brands including T Mobile, Mercedes-Benz and Nike, with fresh food which will reportedly be a “cornerstone” of its teams’ performance nutrition plans.
SK Gaming’s partnership will last throughout 2021, and will see Lidl’s logo emblazoned on the jerseys of its teams, which have won over 60 major championship titles and millions in prize money over the past two decades.
Lidl entered the industry with SK Gaming earlier this week and now there's this. How long until we can buy esports jerseys when doing our weekly food shop? https://t.co/bDaygtQuSo
— Adam Fitch (@byadamfitch) January 14, 2021
Meanwhile Aldi has also signed a three-year deal with French esports giant Team Vitality, and will also see its branding spread across the teams’ events and uniforms.
“It was clear to us that Team Vitality was to be part of our esports partnership platform,” Aldi France’s marketing and communications director Aurélie Taude said.
“We are very proud to be associated with this essential team composed of over 40 top athletes!
“At Aldi France we really want to work towards a common goal. To assist these players in their healthy lifestyle, through programmes and actions designed to support them in competition. This is an opportunity for all of us to make a long-term commitment and to promote the link between nutrition and the practice of esports.”
Team Vitality’s managing director Nicolas Muarer added: “Team Vitality is delighted to partner with Aldi. The group’s impressive growth in its sector is reminiscent of Team Vitality’s trajectory in esports, and Aldi’s desire to promote healthy and varied nutrition for all echoes the constant search for performance within our teams. Some great stories and activations will inevitably arise from this collaboration.”
The German discounters join the growing list of retailers attempting to cash in on the rapidly expanding esports market, set to top $1.5 billion by 2023.
Luxury brand Louis Vuitton was among the first to throw its hat into the ring, releasing a range of items in an exclusive partnership with League of Legends, the wildly popular action-strategy online multiplayer game which is frequently the focus of major esports tournaments, in December 2019.
Puma launched an esports collection in October 2019, following in the footsteps of sportswear rivals Adidas and Nike who are also partnering with esports brands.
K-Swiss also announced the release of the “world’s first e-sports performance shoe” back in July 2019, developed in collaboration with the Immortal Gaming Club (IGC).