After months of flirting, esports organization Cloud9 and sports apparel manufacturer Puma are starting to get serious.
According to The Esports Observer, the two companies have decided to commit to a multiyear partnership. The extension will see Puma provide full apparel and footwear for most of the players and streamers under the Cloud9 umbrella. It will also include a retail push for Cloud9 merchandise in outlets that carry Puma.
“This is a big step in a new direction and one we’re really excited to take,” Puma’s digital marketing and gaming head Matt Shaw said in a statement. He continued on, “It’s like basketball when we were first entering. While we will definitely sell basketball shoes, what we’re trying to do is be culturally relevant. This is very much in the same vein.”
The “eight-figure deal” will include a new Cloud9 line to be launched in September. It will include products designed for players both in and out of competition. The collection will be available online and in Puma’s flagship store in New York City.
The outfitting deal is one of the biggest in western esports, with a prominent apparel company investing heavily in a major organization. It is also Cloud9’s second noteworthy sponsorship of 2019 with the brand entering into a multiyear partnership with Microsoft in May.
However, the deal with Puma comes with some limitations.
Though Cloud9’s League of Legends uniforms will carry the Puma logo, the team’s jerseys will continue to be made by LCS partner We Are Nations. Meanwhile, a similar deal will prohibit Puma from making the jerseys of the London Spitfire due to Overwatch League’s partnership with Fanatics.
Missing out on Cloud9’s League of Legends and Overwatch teams is undoubtedly a disappointment for Puma, but the brand will still be represented in a number of other esports titles including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Rocket League.