New Balance is joining forces with Rival to grow the athletic brand’s global gaming community.
According to New Balance, it will partner with Rival through a series of online tournaments with the aim of giving the gaming community “special access to the brand” through athletes, ambassadors, unique experiences and exclusive product.
This spring, the athletic brand will launch its presence on Rival through a Rocket League tournament that invites gamers and fans of the brand to compete for the chance to win a prize pack of New Balance sneakers and apparel.
Chris Davis, New Balance chief marketing officer and SVP of merchandising, said in a statement that the world of gaming is an increasingly important medium due to the sense of community and connectivity that the experience fosters.
“As a brand, we consistently strive to challenge the status quo and possess a relentless desire to innovate and evolve,” said Davis. “New Balance sees significant opportunities to increase engagement and create meaningful consumer connectivity by uniting our fans through the Rival gaming experience.”
Rival CEO Matt Virtue called the partnership with New Balance a “natural extension” for the athletic brand. “Rival’s approach and platform will enable New Balance to deepen its connection with its well-established and passionate consumer base and bring its gaming community to life, with applications to every sport, every athlete and every gamer, at all levels,” Virtue added.
New Balance has said that community building is a core pillar in its growth strategy. “It’s about community. This is where we started. Community has always been a part of the ownership,” New Balance president and CEO Joe Preston told FN in an interview last June.
The executive, who has been with the company for 27 years, believes that commitment is a big contributor to the company’s success over five decades, growing from $100,000 in sales in 1972 to $4.4 billion today. “Operating with the values that got us here is an important part of our future,” Preston said at the time. “Making sure we’re an important part of the communities where we operate has been a hallmark of who we are, and an expectation of how we operate.”