Betting website Betway today announced that they have become the headline sponsor of Swedish CSGO team Ninjas in Pyjamas. Under the agreement, Betway will be NiP’s main shirt sponsor, with their logo on both chest and left arm of NiP’s jerseys. The bookmaker, who launched an esports arm to their business last year, will be entitled to use NiP’s content and access their players. They will also have their branding installed at the Ninjas’ gaming house in Halmstad. NiP have also promised their fans that the deal will bring a new level of access to the players plus exclusive interviews with Bjorn “threat” Pers, their coach – which will give him something more to do in light of Valve’s coaching reduction at future major events.
The terms of the sponsorship deal have been quoted as “high six figures” by both parties, which sounds over-exaggerated given the values of other deals in the market. Nevertheless, it is a welcome move, and follows Fnatic’s deal with Dafabet, which launched almost a year ago. The sponsorship appears be be focused on the CSGO side, which Betway’s Alan Alger calls a “powerhouse”, and who are currently ranked 4th in the world by HLTV. As such, it comes at a perfect time for Betway to acquire more esports bettors following the closure of CSGO Lounge’s skin betting tote pools.
The deal was announced on a Facebook live stream and was launched alongside a competition to win a signed NiP jersey. In their launch video, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund asserted that regulated and licensed CSGO gambling is the “way to go” – a stance CSGO Betting firmly supports.
Betway sponsor many more traditional sports teams and most notably are the shirt sponsors of West Ham United football club. In light of this, Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg believes their involvement will help esports be taken more seriously.
Betway had previously tested the waters with NiP through some social media giveaways during DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca in October 2015. They gave away CSGO skins, Shaddow Daggers | Fade, worth around £200. It seems likely this will be a route that the new sponsorship deal will follow.
NiP missed out on being invited to ESL One New York, taking place this week, but are likely to be next seen at EPICENTER 2016 in mid October.