Puma Joins Athletic Brands Getting in on the Esports Business

Puma is the latest athletic brand to take a chance on the burgeoning esports industry.

The German sportswear maker has announced a multiyear partnership with Los Angeles-based esports group Cloud9, joining a roster of major companies including Nike and Adidas that are looking to capitalize on the competitive video gaming market.

The two companies signed a sponsorship deal early this year, allowing Puma to provide official game-day gear for league players. Today, Puma and Cloud9 revealed the first edition of their clothing line for gamers, with apparel priced at $25 to $75 and available for purchase on each company’s websites.

According to a report from market research firm Newzoo, esports revenues are expected to surpass $1 billion this year, bolstered by the more than 380 million people who watch esports around the world. (Esports, or electronic sports, is a form of gaming in which individuals or groups compete at multiplayer video games.)

Last April, heritage brand K-Swiss teamed up with e-sports organization Immortals Gaming Club to launch a sneaker — purportedly the first signature shoe for a professional gaming team — that was designed specifically for esports players.

Other big brands have also entered the space. That same month, Adidas joined forces with North, while Champion debuted its first esports collection this May in partnership with Ntwrk. Separately, in July, Nike banded with Brazil-based Furia, in addition to its existing sponsorship deal with TJ Sports, wherein the League of Legends Pro League team competes exclusively in Nike apparel until 2022.

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