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Coke sponsors new eSports show

News, 12 October 2015

SAN FRANCISCO: Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has teamed up with IGN, a gaming-focused media company, to launch a new online eSports show that was due to debut last Friday evening.

Called "Esports Weekly With Coca-Cola" and hosted by IGN's Kevin Knocke, the weekly 30-minute programme will recap the week's headlines from eSports around the world.

The show features roundtable discussions about different leagues and tournaments and includes celebrities and special guests, with Coca-Cola looking to tap into IGN's 66m monthly viewers, Digiday reported.

Broadcast across IGN's channels on the internet, mobile devices, video game consoles and OTT streaming platforms, the initiative also will help Coca-Cola to reach a growing audience of eSports' fans that is expected to increase to 226m this year, according to gaming industry research firm Newzoo.

"We want to create a new watering hole for the eSports community. Something they can dig into, something that can have real reporting behind it, not fluffy pieces but interesting news stories," said Matt Wolf, head of gaming at Coca-Cola.

"We really want the users to help create the show," he continued. "When it airs, fans are invited to show up and chat with us, and we will be having a conversation to understand what's resonating. We are treating it as a living, breathing show and the feedback will help craft and influence what the show becomes."

According to estimates from SuperData Research earlier this year, corporate sponsorship of eSports in the US is on course to top $100m this year, rising to $143m once merchandising and ticket sales are included.

Separately, Coca-Cola's involvement in the sponsorship of eSports featured in a Warc Trends report, which suggested the video-gaming phenomenon had reached a tipping point and identified Coke as a brand "ahead of the curve".

Data sourced from Coca-Cola, Digiday; additional content by Warc staff