Pitch International, one of the world’s leading sports marketing agencies, and Threepipe, the multichannel marketing agency, have today announced partnerships with Gfinity, the UK’s premier eSports platform.

Pitch International will become the exclusive commercial agency of the inaugural Gfinity Championships, while Threepipe will provide B2B PR support focused on driving brand and industry awareness in key trade and national business media.

The Gfinity Championships will take place between March – September 2015 and will see the best professional eSports teams from around the globe compete across a total of twenty five tournaments staged in the UK’s first and only dedicated eSports arena.

“Capitalising on the explosive growth in the popularity of eSports, our goal is to create a world class professional gaming programme which offers distribution partners and sponsors outstanding exposure, consistent consumer engagement and high-value branded events and content,” said Jon Varney of Pitch International.

At a time when the worldwide gaming industry is set to be valued at over $100bn by 2017, the eSports segment has seen huge increases in attendances, prize money and viewership over the last few years. Leading the way were the League of Legends Championship 2013 (Riot Games) which attracted 32 million online viewers and the Dota 2 International 2014 (Valve) with a massive $10,931,105 prize pool. Amazon’s recent acquisition of the online-streaming service Twitch.tv is further evidence that eSports has now truly established itself as a global phenomenon.

The UK market is currently less developed than in the US and Korea, however Gfinity’s successful float on the small business stock market (AIM) in December, which raised £3.5 million, is expected to accelerate growth in the UK.

Jim Hawker, Co-Founder, Threepipe, said: “Gfinity presents a unique and exciting opportunity for us to help develop the eSports sector in this country and challenge brand and consumer perceptions of the wider sports industry. The growth in participation, viewing figures and prize funds highlights the potential opportunity open to marketers and indicates that eSports can no longer be marginalised by more traditional sports.”

Neville Upton, who was the CEO and Founder of The Listening Company, prior to founding Gfinity, said: “We are delighted to welcome Pitch as our exclusive commercial agency. Their pedigree within the sporting world is hugely impressive and this partnership further underlines eSports’ status as a premier global sporting asset. The combined PR, social and digital marketing expertise that Threepipe possesses was hugely enticing as it means we can draw upon a range of marketing skill sets to boost brand awareness.”

Elaborating on the rise of professional gaming, he said: “Traditional sports are becoming increasingly inaccessible to the key demographic that brands are looking to target. For example, the average age of a supporter in Old Trafford’s Stretford End in 1968 was 17, now it is over 40! In contrast, eSports fans are overwhelmingly young, affluent, and highly engaged. Taken in the context of the on-going digital revolution, the sport of the future has arrived.”

For Gfinity sponsorship enquiries please contact paris.davies@pitchinternational.com

Media contacts:
Tom Briffitt / Mimi Brown
E: gfinity@threepipe.co.uk
T: 0207 7632 4800

About Gfinity
Founded by Neville Upton, formerly CEO of The Listening Company, Gfinity is the UK’s leading eSports hub for amateur and professional gamers. With extensive experience in tournament organisation and digital broadcast as well as excellent relationships with key publishers and gaming communities their goal is to become the definitive platform for eSports worldwide.

About Pitch International LLP
Pitch International is a leading sports marketing agency which specializes in the representation of media rights for sporting bodies with expertise in TV broadcast and distribution, event management and commercial partner programmes. Clients include the Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF), the English Football Association (FA), New Zealand Cricket, Six Nations Rugby and Racing UK.

About Threepipe:
Threepipe is an independent digital marketing, PR, social media and content creation agency. Its team boasts a unique blend of people with creative, PR, content and social media backgrounds, combined with tech-savvy digital marketing, data and technology specialists.
Threepipe creates strategies and campaigns that build awareness, engage audiences and influence behaviour. Everything it does is underpinned by a rigorous focus on data, measurement and delivering tangible commercial outcomes.
Threepipe clients include Reiss, The Royal British Legion, Laura Ashley, 4Music, Rachel’s Dairy, Gruppo Campari, Leapfrog Toys, Britax and the England & Wales Cricket Board.

Published on: 6:01PM on 15th January 2015