Activision-Blizzard sexism scandal day 17: More esports sponsors consider abandoning Overwatch League

    
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In the course of our reporting on the ongoing Blizzard sexual harassment and sexual discrimination scandal that’s now prompted multiple lawsuits, we noted that T-Mobile had apparently pulled out of sponsoring Activision-Blizzard esports leagues, including leagues for Call of Duty and Overwatch. It may not be the only one, as The Washington Post reported last night that both Coca-Cola and State Farm are considering dropping their sponsorships as well. They’re apparently two of the remaining sponsors, along with IBM, Xfinity, Cheez-It, Pringles, and Teamspeak.

State Farm – a massive insurance corporation here in the US – has cut all advertising this weekend and says it’s “reevaluating [its] limited marketing relationship with the Overwatch League.” Coca-Cola says it’s “aware of the allegations surrounding Activision Blizzard” and is “[taking] a step back for a moment to revisit future plans and programs” but would not say whether it would drop out. Both Coca-Cola and Statefarm are currently still listed as sponsors on the OWL website.

As WAPO notes, both companies ran ads last weekend and presumably the weekend before that too in the wake of the filing of the lawsuit. However, this week pushed the scandal into the mainstream news as the head of Blizzard, J. Allen Brack, was toppled and replaced the morning of Activision-Blizzard’s quarterly investor call.

We’ve got a full recap of the scandal in the financial report from earlier this week, or you can check out all of our coverage so far piece by piece:

Source: WAPO
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Saluka
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Saluka

Excelled news. Only because esports is a waste of time. Not for any other reason.

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wjowski

Nothing like watching capitalism devour itself

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Utakata

Something about it’s the bed they made, they have to learn to sleep in it…

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Schlag Sweetleaf

.

pour one out for tracer.jpg
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SmiteDoctor

.

5it56o.jpg
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SmiteDoctor

forgot I posted this some where else.

Stefan
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Stefan

To be expected, corporations do not want their brand name tainted so they are for now breaking ties, all purely out of economic interests do not be fooled that there is some morality in play here.

Also there are most likely contracts in play here so not every sponsor can just drop out.

In other more positive news it appears that a whole new host of job offerings have opened up for WoW, when asked if it was to replace those who left or to expand the team Holinka replied it was to grow the team.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Until Kotick and Townsend go, any company having a relationship with Blizzard needs to kick them to the curb.

Stefan
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Stefan

Do not hold your breath, the Blizzard part of the company will be cleaned up and restructured to an extend, the company as a whole will not see this same amount reorganization.

Kotick for better or worse made Activision into a profitable company, share holders will be looking for him to do the same now with the merged company. That sadly does not mean the quality of games will go up or if the games they produce will be to your liking however, looking at Activision track record they will most likely be safe bets and not something new or ground breaking.

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Dobablo

It would be quite hypocritical if Coke-Cola objected to working with a company that employed Bobby Kotick.

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IronSalamander8 .

I lost track, but I thought OWL was in dire straits already based on articles here over the last couple of years? That being said, these sponsors should pull out.

On a more humorous note (I make the note here as these issues are not funny, but I find some of the sponsors are); Cheez-its and Teamspeak? Cheez-its aren’t that great anyway, and I haven’t used Teamspeak in a long time, I had no idea they were even still a thing (we used Ventrillo last before Discord). 5 years ago was the last time I used it and that was for WoT, we had Raidcall as a backup, lol

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Vanquesse V

I don’t think moving OWL to youtube helped anyone except for ActiBlizz that got a big bag with dollar signs from alphabet in return.

I haven’t used the blizz launcher in a long time so I can’t confirm this, but It’s my understanding that they don’t advertise OWL matches in progress on that, nor ingame for that matter (this is something that has worked well for Riot).

I would not at all be surprised if when all is said and done for OWL, ActiBlizz will have been the only ones making a profit on this venture.

Cheez-its and Teamspeak are two companies I would expect to have seen on the exhibitor list of E3 2020 before it got canceled while thinking “oh how the mighty have fallen” about the state of that show

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Dobablo

OWL is in the “vulnerable but generally stable” category, along with almost every other esports. Having said that the launch and investment made into OWL was positioning it as the big event that takes esport to a domestic audience.
The reporting generally comes from the perspective that OWL was supposed to be the biggest esport on the market. In that way, they are in dire straits, but has been a lot of work taking place to ensure they are sustainable at a lower level.