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Is BMW dropping esports? All the signs so far cover image

Is BMW dropping esports? All the signs so far

#News

Missing BMW logos on jerseys, missing logos from sponsors list, locked down Twitter. Is BMW leaving the world of esports behind as we enter 2023?

BMW is huge name in the automotive industry, and as such, one of the most prominent esports sponsors, but are they dropping esports? Having sponsored some of the biggest global organisations in esports in the past few years, including Europe’s Fnatic and G2 Esports, as well as North America’s Cloud9, are BMW stepping away from esports?
Fans with eager eyes, you may have noticed the BMW logo missing off jerseys for the 2023 season. Especially for some of the teams the most renowned teams BMW have been known to sponsor.

Who does BMW sponsor in esports?

BMW have been involved in esports for several years, having sponsored six separate esports teams. This created the United in Rivalry concept, with the Heroes of Rivalry art comic created back in 2020 to celebrate their sponsorship of leading teams. The BMW sponsorship of teams has been successful for these teams who have often featured the iconic car brand in content for their teams.

The Teams

  • G2 Esports
  • Fnatic
  • OG
  • FPX
  • Cloud9
  • T1
The beginnings of these sponsorships (minus OG who was sponsored later) started in 2020. Which saw BMW announced they were going global into esports; sponsoring T1, G2 Esports, Cloud9, Fnatic and FPX, three major regions across numerous games.

Why do people think BMW is leaving esports?

The lack of BMW logo on many of the teams’ 2023 jerseys, has indicated to many in the scene that BMW may be withdrawing their sponsorship and looking to leave esports.
G2 Esports who have been partnered with BMW since 2020, do not feature the logo anywhere on any of the 2023 jerseys across games. Additionally, BMW is not listed as one of their sponsors on the G2 Esports official website.
G2 Esports banner showing sponsors
G2 Esports banner showing sponsors
Additionally, although Fnatic still have BMW listed on their website the release of their 2023 League of Legends jersey does not show the logo anywhere on the jersey. However the logo is present on the jersey for Fnatic's academy team.
The same can be said for Cloud9’s Valorant jersey seen at the Valorant Redbull Homegrounds 2022 in Manchester, England. There, once again, the BMW logo did not feature on the jersey of the players. Further raising fans suspicions.
Fnatic LoL LEC 2023 Jersey - no BMW Logo - Image via Fnatic Twitter
Fnatic LoL LEC 2023 Jersey - no BMW Logo - Image via Fnatic Twitter
Add to that, the BMW Esports Twitter account is now on private and locked down from new followers. Which has fans questioning what this means for the future of BMW in esports. But the OG Dota team does feature the BMW logo on their most recent jersey.
The BMW logo was visible on OG's jerseys in today's OG vs Tundra match in the WEU DPC (Image via PGL)
The BMW logo was visible on OG's jerseys in today's OG vs Tundra match in the WEU DPC (Image via PGL)
A report published by Esports News UK suggested the BMW was heavily reducing its esports sponsorships moving into 2023. If this report is correct, it would explain the removal of some logos but not others. Finally, nearly all of the six BMW sponsored teams still list the car manufacturer as a sponsor on their website.
There has been no official statement from BMW about whether they are still sponsoring all six teams or the reasoning for the lack of logo on 2023 jerseys.

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Nia Quinn
Nia Quinn
Contributor | Twitter @smolsh0rtie
Nia Quinn is a freelance blogger and esports/gaming writer who first fell into esports through a friend in 2020. She is known online as smolsh0rtie (a name that has a long story behind it) and is an avid fan of League of Legends (across all regions) and Valorant. In her free time she can be found playing video games, drinking boba and squealing about how cute koalas are.