ONE Championship moves into esports with $50 million investment
So far ONE Championship has featured MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, submission grappling and boxing with a Sanda bout set for Singapore on Friday night. Next up, Asia’s biggest martial arts promotion will be moving into the world of esports with a major investment.
ONE today announced the launch of the ONE eSports Championship Series. It will be a joint venture with Dentsu, one of Japan’s largest global advertising agencies, while Razer and Singtel are also involved.
ONE Championship intends to lead a plan to invest up to US$50 million into this new initiative. It will feature multiple blockbuster game titles across Asia and a number of esports events held alongside the regular martial arts events in 2019.
Earlier this year, ONE Championship announced a 30 event schedule for 2019 for its global scale martial arts events across Asian cities including Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Seoul, Jakarta, Shanghai, Beijing, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City.
ONE esports will also feature in select cities and Demetrious Johnson will act as a brand ambassador. The former UFC champion is a lifelong gamer and has a big following on Twitch, where he has fronted several X-Box advertising campaigns.
Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship stated:
“It is with great excitement that I announce ONE esports, Asia’s largest global esports Championship Series. We see a natural crossover between martial arts and gaming fans in Asia and an opportunity to bring them together under Asia’s home of millennial live sports.
ONE Championship is committed to bringing its same brand of large-scale event production and live broadcast capabilities, unique world-class content production, global media distribution, storytelling expertise, and marketing experience to ONE esports. Our mission is to celebrate Asia’s esports heroes on the global stage. The establishment of ONE esports transforms ONE Championship into Asia’s largest producer of millennial sports content.”
Synergy between martial arts and esports
Meanwhile Shuntaro Tanaka, Director of the Content Business Design Center of Dentsu, stated:
“We are pleased to announce this partnership with ONE Championship as we look to further develop the rapidly growing esports industry in Japan and the rest of Asia. We recognize good synergy between martial arts and esports, making this a fantastic opportunity for both ONE Championship and Dentsu to participate in this growing segment in Asia, as well as leverage multiple content platforms for additional sales and business opportunities. ONE Championship has been a terrific partner and Dentsu is happy to move forward with ONE in this esports venture.”