Puma Joins Athletic Brands Getting in on the E-Sports Business

Puma is the latest athletic brand to take a chance on the burgeoning e-sports industry.

The German sportswear maker has announced a multiyear partnership with Los Angeles-based e-sports 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, e-sports revenues are expected to surpass $1 billion this year, bolstered by the more than 380 million people who watch e-sports around the world. (E-sports, 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 e-sports players.

Other big brands have also entered the space. That same month, Adidas joined forces with North, while Champion debuted its first e-sports 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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