Wow, the rebranded streaming platform of German pay-TV giant Sky Deutschland, has picked up naming rights to Virtual Bundesliga esports competitions after striking a sponsorship deal with German soccer’s DFL body.
Under the agreement, Wow holds naming rights to the VBL Club Championship, which features 25 teams from the top-tier Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga, as well as the VBL Open, which sees single players compete against each other on the new EA Sports FC game.
As part of the new deal, Wow’s logo will appear on all the league’s digital communication platforms, as well as offline events. Sky Deutschland’s platform was initially called Sky Ticket before being rebranded in the middle of last year.
The broadcaster will also gain rights to show selected VBL segments and content formats. The league shows the VBL for free on its TikTok and Twitch accounts, and its website, as well as the Twitch accounts of the participating clubs.
Previously, Sky Deutschland has aired the finals of the competition.
Jörg Höflich, the DFL’s head of VBL, said: “The once again expanded field of club participants this season contributes significantly to the positive perception of the VBL. This means we can offer an attractive partnership offer in the dynamic and young environment of esports.
“With Sky Deutschland and its streaming brand Wow, we are pleased to have gained a partner from the world of digital media offerings who has a very high affinity for football and is a long-standing partner of the DFL. We were explicitly looking for this kind of target group and brand fit for the naming rights partnership.”
The league was created by the DFL and video game developer EA Sports in 2014, with the league using the popular FIFA game. An agreement between the two was renewed in 2020 before EA Sports cut ties with soccer’s world governing body and launched its own version.
DFL then formed a strategic partnership with ESL, the esports promoter owned by Sweden’s Modern Times Group, to further develop the league.
Caterina Preti, Sky Deutschland’s senior vice-president of OTT, said: “Gaming and esports are highly relevant for our target group and Wow offers the right streaming content. This includes outstanding live sports, including the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga as well as numerous other football competitions and sports, as well as highlight series based on well-known video games.”