Unikrn, Entain’s esports betting platform recently relaunched for the Brazilian and Canadian markets, has partnered with the BLAST Premier in a new sponsorship tie-up.
Promoting Unikrn via the Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) tournament organiser’s channels, the agreement will see the firm’s logo and branding incorporated across event coverage and promotions.
This will include fan-led activations, social giveaways and broadcast integration, as well as branding on the BLAST Premier tournament series and BLAST.tv Paris Major competition.
Entain is particularly targeting potential customers in Unikrn’s existing markets of Brazil and Canada, but the partnership also serves to reach a wider global audience, with the FTSE100 group planning to roll out its esports platform in additional countries this year.
Justin Dellario, Managing Director for esports at Entain, said: “BLAST is an epicentre of action for esports fans around the world and has produced some of the most memorable moments in the history of competitive Counter-Strike play.
“unikrn is built for these moments, when fans are looking for the deepest and best possible experience as they root on their favourite players and teams. We are thrilled to be BLAST’s partner, and to bring our world-class insights and betting opportunities to its millions of fans.”
Entain first secured terms to acquire Unikrn in August 2021, finalising the merger two months later in October before embarking on a long-running redevelopment of the company’s brand, products, technology and platform.
Unikrn was subsequently relaunched in the aforementioned markets of Brazil and Canada – with the exception of Ontario in the latter – in December 2022 after over 24 months of redevelopment as part of Entain’s wider group of businesses.
As it stands, Brazil is yet to regulate sports betting but it is widely anticipated that President Lula de Silva will sign off on federal legislation upon returning from a state visit to China.
Entain has placed a heavy emphasis on Brazil as part of its strategy for 2023, having stated that it will withdraw from the market if regulation does not pass by the end of the year, but group management has reiterated its optimism of the regulatory prospects.
Following the LSE firm’s most recent earnings call, Group CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said that Entain’s future NGR would most likely ‘be a mix of Brazil, Italy, Enlabs (Baltics) and Australia’.
By partnering with BLAST Premier, Unikrn shores up its visibility in the esports scene ahead of regulation in Brazil – where esports has been rising in popularity as both a viewing and betting product – as well as in the as-of-yet-non-liberalised provinces of Canada outside Ontario.
Additionally, the tie up with BLAST, which organises esports tournaments in over 50 territories and in 25 different, also marks a continuation of Entain’s general engagement with the sector.
Having earmarked esports as a key area of growth, Entain has strengthened its standing in the market, further complimenting its takeover of Unikrn by acquiring Sportsflare from Tidal Holdings for $13.25m in March 2023.