It’s not going to be a Happy Meal for German soccer this year. U.S. fast-food chain McDonalds has dropped a partnership with the German Football Association (DFB) to re-focus its efforts on esports entirely.
A New Happy Meal in Germany
Germany has recently decided that esports is not “a real sport”, giving the activity the term eGaming. This was not antagonizing, though, but rather a realization that the words used to describe the world today may have become archaic for the needs of modern society.
With this in mind, McDonald’s has decided to cut ties with the German Football Association (DFB) after 15 years together. With the deal coming to an end at the end of 2018, McDonald’s doesn’t intend to renew their partnership.
Instead, they will be seeking a closer partnership with the Electronic Sports League (ESL), an organization with a truly global reach that is a familiar name in every corner of the gaming world, one way or another.
According to McDonald’s Germany representative Philipp Wachholz, the decision has been the right one for the overall strategy of the company. Mr. Wachholz said that his company was aware of the popularity of esports and ready to capitalize on it.
— ESL (@ESL) August 25, 2018
“This step into eSport was absolutely the right one for us. We see a very significant increase in brand awareness among the targeted audience,” – McDonald’s Germany representative Philipp Wachholz.
McDonalds first piloted the idea of seeking closer ties with esports after it gave it support for the January 2018 Meisterschaft event hosted by ESL. With a number of popular titles, from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), to League of Legends (LoL), and FIFA, McDonalds could advertise to hundreds of fans, allowing them to order food on the spot.
This is hardly all. The company also landed its full support for this year’s ESL One Hamburg tournament, which was focused on another popular game with massive following around the world – Defense of the Ancients (Dota) 2.
The decision in favour of one is not necessarily a decision against the other, but reflects the general strategy of the brand to connect more closely with the lives of adolescents.
The company also moved in to cater to the “Spanish La Liga eSports”, which has shaped up to be yet another dominant organization in the realm of esport.
More Investors on the Horizon
McDonalds is hardly alone in its appetite for new and lucrative markets. The company is joining a number of established non-endemic organizations, including Mercedes-Benz and a slew of additional companies that have vowed their support for esports, realizing the immense potential.
McDonalds is also going to serve food at the BLAST Pro Series in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the event just recently announcing an expansion bid across the world, which may see the fast-food chain follow it dutifully.
If anything, the partnership between McDonalds and the ESL exemplifies one thing for sure – esports are coming into the mainstream and there is clearly no way to stop them. With one company after another entering the segment, the future seems promising for this new activity.