IMG pens Fortnite licensing deal ahead of eSports push
IMG, the international sports and entertainment company, will handle the exclusive licensing of Fortnite, the hugely-popular multiplayer third-person shooter video game, after it struck a deal with publisher Epic Games ahead of the launch of a $100-million eSports series for the game.
Through the agreement, IMG is to act as Fortnite’s exclusive worldwide agency for consumer products licensing and promotions.
The game has around 3 million players and is available on Sony PlayStation, Mircrosoft’s Xbox, PC and MacOS.
Fortnite is presently the most-watched game on Twitch, the Amazon-owned video portal, while famous gamer ‘Ninja’ has attracted around 600,000 viewers to some of his streams.
The game’s popularity has been boosted by its loyal following, which includes high-profile sports names such as English soccer’s Dele Alli, NBA basketball’s Paul George and NFL American football’s JJ Watt.
Commenting on the deal, Mark Rein, vice-president of USA-based Epic Games, said: “Our players want Fortnite things so badly that they’re making their own stuff. We love that passion and think the time is right to provide them with official, high-quality products. There's no better company than IMG to help us do that.”
Bruno Maglione, president of IMG licensing, added: “Fortnite has captured the imagination of people around the world and has the most amazing universe of environments, tools and heroes to inspire products of all kinds. We are looking forward to providing Fortnite’s growing community of fans a great range of creative items that reflect the game’s attitude and brand DNA.”
This week, Epic Games announced that it would be providing a prize pool of $100 million for Fortnite eSports competition in the 2018-19 season.
Meanwhile, ESL, the eSports promoter owned by Sweden’s Modern Times Group, has signed up two new sponsors for its events.
Alienware, the gaming equipment brand owned by Dell, has been unveiled as a partner of the promoter’s flagship ESL One events. The company will be the event’s official computer and monitor partner for 2018.
DHL, the international logistics company, has also joined as a sponsor of ESL One, in the shipping and logistics category.