Popular gaming streamer Tyler Blevins, better known as Ninja, has secured yet another brand deal. And this one may be the biggest one of them all. Ninja has just revealed a partnership with Adidas, making him the first pro gamer ever to be signed by the brand. The German sportswear giant told Engadget that the deal with Ninja is intended to show its commitment to gaming culture and “supporting creators who show dedication to excelling in their field.” Moving forward, Adidas said, it will continue to find new ways to support the 2.3 billion gamers across the world. The company added that, ultimately, it is here to help athletes make a difference in their game – an important appreciation that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the gaming community, which still struggle to have eSports recognised as an official form of sport.
Apparel companies signing deals with gaming stars is a relatively new phenomenon. Nike signed a deal earlier this year to make jerseys for the League of Legends Pro League in China, which are expected to debut at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship in Paris in October. Champion and K-Swiss have also signed apparel deals with individual teams and players.
As for Ninja, this exciting announcement comes only a few weeks after he announced that he was officially ditching Amazon’s Twitch streaming service for Microsoft’s Mixer alternative — a move that came as a shock to the gaming community and his followers alike. He also now has his own toy line and reportedly gets paid approximately $1 million to stream games, such as Apex Legends. Which is to say, there’s no shortage of brands wanting to work with him. Ninja had been seen wearing Adidas outfits recently at different events, but not much was made of it until he teased a major reveal on his Twitter account, which featured a video with an Adidas font on it.
Ninja officially came out and announced the new deal on his Twitter account saying “I’m humbled, and excited, to officially announce my partnership with @adidasoriginals.” The tweet was then shared from the Adidas Originals account welcoming him to the family.
There aren’t any shoes or apparel for sale right now, but on his Mixer stream, Blevins said, “I can’t say specifically what is in the works with Adidas, but use your imagination.” Adidas says that the partnership might lead to products “in either the physical or virtual world.”
Adidas does currently sponsor various professional esports teams, but the deal with Ninja is significant because of the individual aspect of it. We’ll see over time what comes of the partnership between the company and the notorious gamer and streamer, whether that be gaming-inspired apparel, shoes or otherwise
The partnership with Adidas is far from Ninja’s first with a brand. He’s long partnered with Samsung and has appeared in the company’s #TeamGalaxy ad campaign, promoted the Galaxy S10 exclusive K-Pop-themed Fortnite skin and emote, and opened a Samsung-made Fortnite “supply drop” with a Galaxy Note 9 inside. Ninja also has part in a number of other deals, including a long-running Red Bull sponsorship, YouTube ads, etc. He also just released a book.
On his Mixer stream, Ninja said more details on the collaboration will be out soon.