Video game retailer Game has announced plans to open e-sports ‘gaming arenas’ and concessions within Sports Direct stores.
The Belong brand is the group’s competitive gaming and e-sports scheme centred around physical ‘arenas’, bringing both casual and competitive gaming to communities nationwide in cities, town centres and major shopping centres.
As part of the agreement Sports Direct has acquired a 50% interest in the rights of the Belong intellectual property, worth around £3.2m, in addition to a 50% profit share of future profits of Belong and associated venues
Martyn Gibbs, Game digital chief executive officer, said: “As more consumer focus and spend moves to experiences, we are well advanced in delivering unique, world class gaming at both local and national level.
“Having launched the Belong brand just over a year ago, we have now opened 19 arenas and are very encouraged by the popularity and performance of these locations. We look forward to collaborating with Sports Direct to increase the availability and scale of Belong and to capitalise on the increasing overlap between sports and e-sports fans by bringing this unique experience to a wider consumer base.”
Jon Kempster, Sports Direct’s CFO, added: “We are very happy to partner with Game in building an increased presence in the esports market through the Belong brand.”