AirAsia has come on board as the official airline partner for the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG) in ASEAN, an international esports championship tournament by Alisports. Alisports is the sports branch of Alibaba Group.
The sponsorship deal with Agri Mind includes flights, media value and cash prize, and is in line with its commitment to support the region's top talents, as well as reaffirms its effort in digital initiatives including e-sports. As the title sponsor, AirAsia’s brand will be integrated across WESG Asean’s digital platforms and tournaments. In addition, the airline will have the opportunity to offer various ancillary products and services at the event, including online store and ticketing agent, among others.
AirAsia Group executive chairman and AirAsia X Group CEO Datuk Kamarudin Meranun said, quoting a 2015 Newzoo report, that ASEAN is one of the "fastest growing regions" in the world with 9.3 million e-sports fans. The number is expected to grow 36.1% every year through to 2019.
"As an innovative digital company, we are thrilled to be the title sponsor and to contribute to e-sports by supporting ASEAN's top professional e-sports athletes to compete at the global tournament. We also believe this sponsorship puts us at the forefront of the expansion of e-sports across ASEAN," he added.
In January this year, AirAsia marked its first foray into e-sports as a special sponsor and exclusive airline partner of Mineski Pro Team. It also acquired a majority stake in professional e-sports team, Team Saiyan, earlier this year, which has since been rebranded to AirAsia Saiyan.
“By supporting grassroots development of the regional e-sports scene, we aim to nurture a new generation of world-class players with the skills, tenacity and work ethics to take on the best in the world," Chairman of Agri Mind Calvin Lau said.