Olivia R. February 8, 2019
The New York Excelsior’s newly announced partnership with T-Mobile is one of many ways the team hopes to engage its New York fan base.
T-Mobile will be sponsoring local fan events, custom content, and new merch for Season 2. This includes NYXL Homebound, a watch party on February 14 at the 40/40 Club in Manhattan. Attending fans will be able to watch the team’s first match of the year.
“We aim to connect with fans in new and unique ways this season,” said NYXL head of partnerships Kai Mathey.
The team’s mission this season is to continue growing esports in New York through watch parties, meet and greets, and competitions.
Even though Overwatch League’s venues are beginning to expand (LINK) and will include a New York home game at the end of Season 2, the majority of regular season matches will still be held at the Blizzard Arena in Burbank, California. This leaves NYXL with the challenge of cultivating fans across the country from where the team’s games are being played.
Creating high-end streetwear has been one of New York Excelsior’s connections to its city. The organization has excited local fans with fashion-forward collaborations with big-name brands popular to New York, like Champion and Undefeated. A run of limited edition team jerseys completely sold out.
This success led to more collaborations with Undefeated, which also has a huge following in Honk Kong and Tokyo. NYXL expanded its fashion collaborations to also include bold streetwear jewelry designed by Melody Ehsani and hats by New Era.
NYXL even opened a pop-up store in New York City during the Season 1 finals. Available merchandise included Air Force Ones by Nike, which Mathey called the “shoe brand of New York.” Around 800 fans lined up each day for queue times up to five hours to get their hands on the exclusive gear. It was sold out by the end of the weekend.
Meet and greets with the team have had similar fanfare. People waiting for autographs often stood in lines that zig-zagged through multiple city blocks.
The team’s official Twitter account may have put it best when it referred to the squad’s players as “rock stars.”