This morning, Twitch and Team Liquid announced they had made a new sponsorship sales deal for the next few years. The shorthand version of the deal gives Twitch the exclusive rights to manage sales and to “broaden Team Liquid’s connections with brands seeking to design disruptive and thoughtful partnerships with one of the world’s most accomplished esports teams.” Meanwhile, Team Liquid now has access to numerous promotional opportunities on Twitch, basically skipping to the head of the line in a lot of aspects that other brands need to clear. Here’s a few quotes from the press release today.
“Team Liquid is a giant in esports, with one of the most winning records in history,” said Kristen Salvatore, VP/Commercial Director of Sponsorships at Twitch. “As Twitch strives to connect our trusted sponsorship partners with the esports community in more meaningful ways, working with a seasoned brand like Team Liquid offers commercial brands keen to enter the esports space the perfect opportunity to reach a savvy audience with relevant, high-quality content.”
“Since Team Liquid’s earliest days, we’ve been focused on building strong and rich communities, in addition to creating great content with winning teams across multiple sports,” said Steve Arhancet, Co-CEO of Team Liquid, “We believe in strong and long-term brand partnerships that support these goals, and Twitch’s unrivaled network and expertise makes them the perfect partner to help us reach even more brands that share our vision.”
If you’re every other esports team on the planet, you got to be a little pissed off right now. Because let’s be honest, this is the kind of deal where we’ll eventually start seeing Team Liquid ads on the site covering other people’s streams, which can’t sit too well with any esports player who streams and is not involved with TL. Not to mention being prominently featured in tournament promotion even if they lose. It has a lot of potential for esports in general, but it could also backfire hardcore at Twitch. Only time will tell which outcome we get.