Garena has appointed South Korean boy band BTS as Free Fire’s global brand ambassador. The collaboration will kick off with a Free Fire event later this month. There will also be a series of collaboration events and activities both in the game and beyond.
Harold Teo, Free Fire producer at Garena, said that bringing BTS into the Free Fire universe will offer its players more ways to engage with the game, socialise with the community, and enjoy new experiences. "BTS is a global phenomenon; their appeal and influence are unrivalled. We are absolutely excited to welcome BTS as our latest brand ambassador, and can not wait to share the collaboration plans we have in place,” he added.
BTS has established itself as one of the world’s most well-loved groups, coming in as the third most-streamed artist globally on Spotify last year. Last April, Louis Vuitton appointed BTS as its brand ambassador. BTS is also an ambassador for brands such as Coway, FILA, Hyundai, Live Smart, Samsung and tokopedia. Additionally, BTS has been honourary tourism ambassadors to Seoul since 2017. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Garena for comment.
Separately, Free Fire was recently banned in India as part of the country's clampdown on apps that are of Chinese origins, citing security concerns, The Straits Times (ST) reported. This was the latest instance of tensions between the two countries that are locked in a border dispute.
Following the ban, Sea's market value dropped by US$16 billion (SG$21.7 billion). According to ST, Singapore has since raised concerns with India over the game's ban, as Sea, which owns the brand, was founded in Singapore in 2009 by Chinese-born founders who later became Singaporean citizens.
Free Fire was the most downloaded mobile game in the world in 2019, 2020, and 2021, as well as the highest-grossing mobile game in India in the third quarter of 2021, according to industry tracker data.ai, formerly known as App Annie. Data from analytics firm Sensor Tower also show that India is the top market for both Free Fire and one of its more premium versions, Free Fire Max, going by the number of downloads.
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