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Why T-Mobile Is Sponsoring Esports Leagues

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Feb. 20 2019, Updated 7:32 a.m. ET

T-Mobile returns as Overwatch brand sponsor

T-Mobile (TMUS) recently renewed its sponsorship of the Overwatch League, the professional esports league run by videogame developer Activision Blizzard (ATVI). T-Mobile was named the official wireless brand sponsor of the 2019 season of the esports league in the United States. Coca-Cola (KO) and Intel (INTC) also secured spots as the official beverage and computer sponsors of the 2019 season of the esports league.

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T-Mobile to get huge exposure

Although esports is a new sports category, it is growing rapidly. According to estimates from Newzoo, some 453.8 million people will view esports matches around the world this year. That audience is projected to grow to 645 million people by 2022. In North America alone, esports matches are expected to draw 23.9 million enthusiasts this year.

Marketing opportunity for T-Mobile

The Overwatch league sponsorship will expose T-Mobile to a huge audience that it could leverage to increase its brand visibility. What T-Mobile will pay for the esports league sponsorship has not been disclosed, but the deal creates an attractive marketing opportunity for the company. And the timing looks perfect. This is the year that wireless operators are going to step up their competition for customers with 5G services. Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) have already started offering some forms of 5G services in select markets in the United States, and T-Mobile and Sprint (S) are expected to join them before the year ends.

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