The NBA 2K League snagged a new national sponsor just in time for the playoffs. The Snickers activation not only provides the league with some additional revenue and visibility but adds a layer of intrigue to broadcasts of games as well.
Each night the league broadcasts games on Twitch and YouTube, the broadcast team will denote one player scheduled to take the controller that night as the “Hungriest Player to Watch.” He or she will be said to have the most to prove or the most on the line in that evening’s contests. The activation began on Friday, July 19 and will continue through the rest of the league’s second season, including the playoffs and the Finals.
Snickers is now also the official chocolate bar of the NBA 2K League. The league isn’t Snickers’ first foray into esports partnerships: the candy bar brand has previously signed on to sponsor ELEAGUE, Rocket League and FlyQuest.
On a national level, major food brands are an untapped reservoir of potential sponsorships for the NBA 2K League. Celtics Crossover Gaming counts Dunkin’ Donuts as its official coffee partner and Giant Food is a regional grocery partner of Wizards District Gaming.
Snickers is owned by Mars Inc., which has dozens of brands in several verticals including food, health services and pet care. Building a relationship with Mars not only opens more doors for the league to possibly gain additional sponsors under the Mars umbrella but also helps to legitimize the league in the eyes of other brands.
For fans, the big news in this sponsorship is that it adds another storyline to each night of games. For the league, the value is in opening up a new category of sponsorships. For Snickers, it’s all about getting its brand in front of audiences in another way. All three parties should get what they want out of the deal.