H-E-B and Giant Food have revealed official partnerships with esports teams.
San Antonio-based H-E-B and Houston Outlaws have joined forces to bring the grocer into the world of esports through the team’s south Texas representation in Activision-Blizzard’s Overwatch League. The deal marks Houston Outlaws’ first-ever partner branding integration on the sleeves of their uniforms, with the H-E-B logo appearing on all home and away jerseys, starting with the opening match of Stage Two on Saturday, April 13.
Also under the partnership, the companies will create unique reusable grocery bags, available exclusively at select H-E-B locations within the Houston, Austin and San Antonio areas; H-E-B will act as the official food delivery partner of select Houston Outlaws watch parties; and Houston Outlaws players will make appearances during in-store events at select H-E-B locations throughout the year.
“We are excited to be an official sponsor of the Houston Outlaws,” noted Cory Basso, H-E-B’s group VP of marketing and advertising. “Our customers are participating in esports, and we’re looking forward to our first esports sponsorship in the Overwatch League.”
“Our local communities comprise key elements of the Houston Outlaws’ identity, and H-E-B continues to play a major role in supporting the Houston, Austin and San Antonio markets,” said Ryan Musselman, president of Dallas-based Infinite Esports and Entertainment. “Through H-E-B, we can ensure our players have the proper food and nourishment they need to continue competing at the professional level.”
Meanwhile, for the second season in a row, Giant Food will serve as the grocery sponsor for Washington, D.C., NBA 2K league team Wizards District Gaming, along with CPG giant Procter & Gamble.
Landover, Md.-based Giant Food will be featured via in-game virtual assets, on-court signage during games and at the Wizards District Gaming Practice Facility. This year’s partnership aligns with Giant Food’s aim to increase its NBA 2K support. To further that goal, Cincinnati-based P&G will serve as exclusive vendor partner, with several brands of the company’s brands, among them Old Spice, Gillette, Tide and Bounty, to be showcased during the 2019 season’s games.
“Giant Food is thrilled to be returning for the second year as the sponsor of Wizards District Gaming,” said Gordon Reid, president at Giant Food. “Giant remains committed to being an active member in our communities through exciting partnerships like this one in the esports industry.”
“We are excited to welcome back Giant and P&G as partners for season two of Wizards District Gaming in the NBA 2K League,” noted Jim Van Stone, president of business operations and chief commercial officer at Washington-based Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Giant and P&G played a key role in fueling our success in the inaugural season both in the studio and away from the consoles and we appreciate their continued commitment to our players’ well-being.”
The NBA 2K league, a joint venture between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive, is a professional esports league that drafts the best NBA 2K players across the globe. The league’s season features 21 teams and runs April 2-Aug. 3.
In 2018, Giant Food became the first grocer ever to sponsor an esports team.
H-E-B operates 400 stores in Texas and Mexico, employing more than 110,000 associates. Giant Food operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, employing about 20,000 associates.Giant Food’s parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, is No. 4 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States, while H-E-B is No. 6 in the ranking.