Mediacom named commercial consultant to Beckham's Guild Esports
MediaCom Sport & Entertainment, the WPP-owned sponsorship agency, has today landed a significant commercial brief, partnering with Guild Esports, the nascent organisation co-owned by international sporting icon David Beckham.
MediaCom S&E has been named as Guild's first consultancy, working across all aspects of the business' commercial proposition, development and global strategy for its commercial partners.
London-based Guild recently entered a team in the Rocket League and also participates in the FIFA series, while it is expected to compete in the popular Fortnite title later this year.
The appointment of MediaCom S&E dovetails with the agency’s recent expansion of its gaming business following recent work with Tencent, one of the world’s largest investors into esports broadcasting and publishing, alongside Cartier, Piaget and Richemont.
Michelle Tierney, director of commercial partnerships at Guild, said: “We are at a pivotal moment with Guild poised for accelerated growth. This is an exciting time to welcome MediaCom S&E who can build on the momentum of our launch, foster partnerships and bring Guild to new audiences across the globe.”
Misha Sher (pictured), global vice-president of MediaCom S&E, added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Guild at the beginning of their exciting journey. The popularity and appeal of esports as a cultural phenomenon continues to grow and Guild are perfectly positioned to capitalise on the momentum. Operating at the intersection of media, technology and culture, we know what’s required to attract commercial partners in a new, digitally led world. We thank Guild for their trust and look forward to helping them build one of the industry’s leading organisations.”
Guild staged its global launch in mid-June, and has been targeting a £25 million ($31 million) financing round, placing a £100 million valuation on the organisation.
Beckham, via his DB Ventures company, and Blue Star Capital, contributed towards a funding round. Blue Star Capital initially invested £150,000 when the team was formerly known as the Lords Esports, just after the company was founded in late 2019, acquiring an 11.7 per cent stake.
One brand Guild Esports is unlikely to turn to is Neom, the organisation promoting investment and infrastructure growth in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, and backed by the government.
In recent weeks, Neom has partnered with Blast, the global esports organisation, and Riot Games, the publisher of League of Legends, but both those deals have now been terminated following fierce criticism.
After strong criticism online - from employees and gamers alike - primarily aimed at Saudi Arabia's human rights record, as well as the fact that the area where the city is to be built was previously occupied by the Huwaitat tribe, which was forcibly removed, Riot Games was the first to end its association with Neom.
Now, according to reports, Blast has followed suit, with human rights abuses also cited in the decision-making.
While the majority of Blast teams stayed silent publicly, Astralis chief executibe Anders Hørsholt described the partnership as “unacceptable.”