Universal has agreed a partnership with eSports giant ESL, that will include the launch of a joint label.
Universal Music Group Central Europe has signed a multi-year partnership with ESL, formerly known as Electronic Sports League. As part of the deal, the two parties will launch a joint label and build a roster of artists that will be promoted via ESL's global tournaments, broadcasts and social media channels.
In addition to the integration of artists into live broadcasts, performances will also take place during half-time and pre-shows at big events and grand finals. The new label will be co-managed by Dirk Baur, President of the Universal's Marketing Labs division and Gustav Käll, Head of eSports for UMG.
Talking about the partnership, Frank Briegmann, President & CEO Central Europe Universal Music Group and Deutsche Grammophon said: “I’m delighted that UMG and ESL, two market leaders in global entertainment, have joined forces. Together, our dedicated new label, with its laser-sharp focus on the artists and music of esports, will provide the soundtrack to the gaming experience for this massive global audience for years to come.”
The partnership is a clever fusion of two vital elements of popular culture. In 2017, more than 300 million people watched ESL events around the world, indicating that it could become an influential platform for the global breakthrough of new music talent.