Esports is gaining a major energy drink sponsor today, with 5-hour Energy announcing their sponsorship of the Detroit Renegades.
Owned by NBA player Jonas Jerebko, the Detroit Renegades features competitive teams across multiple esports titles, including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call of Duty, and most recently, Overwatch. As part of the sponsorship deal, this Overwatch team is now officially dubbed the Detroit Renegades 5-hour Energy Overwatch team.
“This sponsorship by the makers of 5-hour Energy shots epitomizes our shared values of hard work, innovative marketing, and efficient operations,” Jerebko said in a press release. “As our first non-endemic sponsor, being headquartered in Michigan encourages a beneficial relationship to support our organization and players directly.”
The interest in regional solidarity comes on the heels of Blizzard’s upcoming esports initiative. The developer will be rolling out their ambitious Overwatch League over the course of 2017, which will be composed of permanent city-based teams and expected to kickoff its first season in Q3 2017.
Since picking up the rights to the Renegades franchise in September of last year, Jerebko is looking to expand the brand into even more esports corners. With a focus on stability and improved player contracts, Jerebko headquartered the team in Detroit, picked up a Call of Duty squad, and has set his sights on regaining Renegades’ League of Legends berth, a position lost upon a Riot Games ruling last year.