Vibrant-haired pro-gamer Tyler Blevins aka Ninja is making serious waves in the industry for tying down a monumental apparel collaboration with Adidas. While Ninja has received a number of expensive brand deals in the past, he is the first eSports pro to partner with the German sportswear giant.
Adidas told Engadget that they want the deal to reflect their commitment to eSports and gaming culture as the industry continues to rise in popularity. They are passionate about “supporting creators who show dedication to excelling in their field.”
Both Ninja and Adidas shared the news on social media, clearly excited about what this means for the future. “Never let anyone tell you that you can’t catch your dreams,” Ninja tweeted, before concluding, “I’m humbled, and excited, to officially announce my partnership with @adidasoriginals.”
No shortcuts. Only long days. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t catch your dreams.
Choose your path. Put the TIME IN.
I’m humbled, and excited, to officially announce my partnership with @adidasoriginals
. https://t.co/B42gK4AoF5#createdwithadidas pic.twitter.com/PdAKnCflCD
— Ninja (@Ninja) August 27, 2019
Ninja’s announcement comes only a month or so after leaving Amazon’s giant streaming platform, Twitch, for Microsoft’s new streaming service, Mixer—a multi-million dollar deal in itself.
No more than a decade ago, you wouldn’t have imagined video game competitions being streamed on the same networks as traditional sports, but now mainstream channels like NBC, TBS, and ESPN are all highlighting major eSport events, which have been seeing absolutely absurd growth year by year.
“It’s got people who are passionate about it, both playing it and watching it [and] lines up with our desire to reach as many audiences as we can around the country, of all demographics, of all interests,” said Rob Simmelkjaer, senior vice president for NBC’s Sports Ventures, about the promotion of professional gaming.
So, bottom line: Go throw on your favorite Adidas gear, boot up that console or PC, and tell your family you’re finally ready to take your sports career seriously. You just might get sponsored, too.