- The spate of scandals mentioning Activision Blizzard by name has forced some of the company’s biggest sponsors to “reassess” their relationship with its flagship franchised leagues
- According to The Washington Post, State Farm has requested that no advertisements are broadcast for this weekend’s OWL games
- Coca-Cola is in the process of reevaluating its partnership with Activision Blizzard but has not reached a conclusion yet
Coca-Cola and State Farm are having a closer look at their partnership with Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch league in light of the recent spate of legal actions against the game developer and publisher.
Overwatch League’s Partnerships on the Line
After the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, the company has found itself in hot water with investors, who also filed a lawsuit against it, alleging that executives knew about the predatory work environment that persisted in the company’s ranks, but did nothing to let shareholders know.
Now, Coca-Cola and State Farm are among the companies reassessing their ties with the Overwatch League, a franchised esports league that relies on the participation of esports teams that have paid between $40 million and $60 million to secure a spot in the competition.
One of the ways the OWL generates revenue is through ample sponsorship deals with brands such as Coca-Cola and State Farm. Severing ties with these could have a big negative financial impact on the company’s bottom line.
“Frat Boy” Culture Could Cost Activision Blizzard
The companies are openly concerned about the reams of allegations that have continued mounting against the company’s “frat boy” culture, which reflects poorly on public perception of the company and its partners. According to a report by The Washington Post, both companies have already addressed their relationship with the Overwatch League and State Farm has asked that no advertisements are run during the matches this weekend.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has also commented on the issue as per The Washington Post’s report “We are working with our partners at Blizzard as we take a step back for a moment to revisit future plans and programs,” the statement read.
However, Coca-Cola did not say if it would sever ties with the Overwatch League completely or if at all. There has been a cascading series of developments in recent weeks, with 1,000 Blizzard employees signing a letter criticizing the sexual harassment culture in the company and staging a walkout to raise awareness about the issue. Activision Blizzard has denied allegations and characterized them as a “distorted” representation of reality.