Levi’s is taking its biggest step into gaming yet after signing a new deal with NRG Esports that marks its first esports partnership in the U.S.
The deal was announced on Friday, with terms unreleased, and will center on the iconic jeans brand outfitting NRG players and streamers with its garb, as well as co-branded content projects.
Levi’s will have a presence at NRG’s Hot Pockets Castle gaming headquarters in L..A., where there will now be a style lounge that incorporates the jeans brand and lets visitors personalize their apparel. NRG will also create a content series showing NRG influencers living out a typical day in their life (presumably while wearing Levi’s products). The co-branded content will appear across NRG’s YouTube and Twitch channels among other platforms.
Levi’s, the American brand that was founded in 1873, has had limited involvement with esports partnerships to this point, with only a couple international deals. Those include one with the DACH Prime League of Legends competition in Europe and one with the U.K.-based university esports organizer The NUEL. Levi’s also did a collaboration with Nintendo around its famous video game characters.
Levi’s VP/Marketing Stacy Doren in a prepared statement noted esports “have become such an important part of today’s youth culture, and with NRG being one of the biggest players in that space, they were an ideal partner to help bring Levi’s into the world of gaming.”
NRG President Brett Lautenbach added that company execs “wanted to work with Levi’s for a long time.”
NRG owns the San Francisco Shock of the Overwatch League, Optic Chicago of the Call of Duty League and also competes in Valorant and Rocket League. Other partners of NRG include Hot Pockets, Popeye’s, T-Mobile, Turtle Beach, and Mountain Dew Game Fuel.
The organization has also been in the market trying to find a title sponsor for its Rocket League team.