- Kellogg Company has become the latest big Overwatch League to openly question its partnership with the organization
- Company spokesperson Kris Bahner has said that Kellogg will continue evaluating how Activision Blizzard addresses the issues
- Coca-Cola and State Farm have also expressed concerns over their future relationship with the Overwatch League in light of the sexual allegation saga involving Activision Blizzard
Kellogg Company has become the latest Overwatch League partner to address the issue of alleged sexual harassment within Activision Blizzard.
Activision Blizzard Fails to Meet Sponsors' Expectations
Activision Blizzard and the Overwatch League find themselves in yet more trouble as the ongoing scandal into the alleged predatory culture at the workplace has strained their relationship with sponsors and partners.
The lawsuits against Activision Blizzard claiming sexual harassment of employees have already impacted the existing partnership with Kellogg Company announcing its decision to sever ties with the OWL effectively immediately. The recent pickle comes on top of another lawsuit launched by investors this week.
Speaking to media outlet Polygon, company spokesperson Kris Bahner has described the allegations as “troublesome” and ultimately inconsistent with Kellogg Company's own commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Bahner argued that Kellogg Company is aware of the attempts by Activision Blizzard to address the issue, but for the time being, the company would not move forward with any programs.
Instead, Kellogg Company will assess the progress made by Activision Blizzard in addressing the issues and reconsider renewing partnerships in the future. Kellogg is an important strategic partner for the Overwatch League as it has been helping the brand gain recognition outside of the online and esports space, mostly through the company's dedicated products.
To reflect this statement, Activision Blizzard has removed Kellogg Company's company from the Overwatch League official page, sending an unambiguous sign that certain issues cannot be tolerated by investors, no matter how popular the Overwatch League is.
Investors Speak up against Sexual Harassment Allegations
Kellogg Company is not the first sponsor to question whether it should discontinue its relationship with the Overwatch League after Coca-Cola and State Farm announced that they would also review their relationships with the league.
There is no certainty whether the Overwatch League would be able to restore the bridges it might have just burned with prominent sponsors. The entire model of the company relies on big sponsorships as an individual slot into the league costs anything from $40 million to $60 million.
Another issue is that Kellogg Company, Coca-Cola, and State Farm have outlined no plans to work with the Overwatch League again, even though not all parties have officially ended their relationship with the organization and Activision Blizzard.
If sponsors continue to withdraw for fears of how the ongoing lawsuit would impact their reputation, Activision Blizzard may soon find itself in a difficult position.