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- Modern Times Group (MTG) companies DreamHack and ESL North America enter a joint partnership with the U.S. Navy.
- The U.S. Navy will receive presenting rights to DreamHack’s Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) events and integration into esports broadcasts.
- This year the U.S. Navy shifted 97% of its advertising budget to digital, with esports and YouTube having supplanted the Super Bowl as major spends.
DreamHack and the North American division of ESL have announced a joint partnership with the U.S. Navy, focused on onsite and online activations. The United States military branch will be the official festival partner of the upcoming DreamHack Anaheim and Dallas events, hosting its own LAN station for attendees to challenge naval officers and veterans in various video games. Financial terms were not disclosed.
DreamHack, which runs digital festivals across the world, has also granted presenting rights of its flagship BYOC attractions at the Anaheim and Dallas events to the U.S. Navy. The DreamHack Open Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) competition will also feature U.S. Navy branding.
“Like the Navy, esports requires a variety of skills and roles, and a strong commitment to continual improvement. Our partnership will help align the U.S. Navy’s passion for competition with esports fans both onsite at DreamHack North American events and through unique online content on ESL channels,” said rear admiral Brendan R. McLane, commander, U.S. Navy Recruiting Command, in a statement.
In the same way companies such as SAP and DHL have experimented with esports as a recruitment tool, the Navy is specifically building a connection between gaming and its IT and engineering roles. The maritime military branch has redirected 97% of its 2020 advertising budget to digital, with esports being a key focus for both recruitment and morale.
Other branches of the U.S. military have long been active in esports. The U.S. Army has its own team and is partnered with Dallas Cowboys-affiliated team organization Complexity. The U.S. Air Force explored esports with an ELEAGUE partnership in 2018, and is now one of the inaugural supporters of the Call of Duty League—with flight simulators featured at events and sponsorship of the “Match Metrics” feature.
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