Which English football team could Amazon Prime Gaming have possibly picked to sponsor? Could it be Man City, Spurs, or Liverpool?
Nope - it's little old Stevenage.
The EFL League Two team has signed a two-year shirt sponsorship deal with Prime Gaming, with the deal set to run until the end of the 2022/23 season. The Prime Gaming logo will appear on the home and away kits of Stevenage FC, and the new shirts will be debuted at the club's pre-season friendly against Crystal Palace on 23rd July.
"This partnership with one of the biggest companies in the world is hugely exciting," said Stevenage FC director Stuart Dinsey. "Our values are closely aligned and just like gamers, we want to try and reach the next level, having plenty of fun along the way."
"We are excited to partner with a club like Stevenage, that much like Prime Gaming, is ambitious, innovative and places an emphasis on being customer-obsessed," said Prime Gaming GM Larry Plotnick.
Now I know what you're thinking: why would Amazon, one of the biggest companies in the world, choose to sponsor a League Two club when a Premier League shirt would get far more exposure? The answer may have something to do with Burger King and Stevenage FC's viral marketing campaign.
In 2019 Burger King signed a two-year shirt sponsorship deal with Stevenage FC, and decided to use this for a rather unique campaign. Food prizes were offered to those who played as Stevenage in FIFA 20 and uploaded videos of themselves completing challenges. "We realised that even though [Stevenage] is at the bottom of England's fourth division, they were going to appear in the same video game that all the expensive players were going to be in," said a Burger King marketing video. "And that's when, almost two years ago, we decided to sponsor Stevenage."
The "Stevenage Challenge" went viral on Twitter, and during the two-week campaign Stevenage became the most-played team in FIFA's career mode, with 25,000 goals scored in Stevenage kits shared online. Many players used teams filled with star players such as Messi and Salah... all wearing the Stevenage shirt with a massive burger slapped on the front.
Stevenage also became the most-used FIFA team on Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch, which may explain why Amazon is now interested in sponsoring the club. Prime Gaming is a feature included in the Amazon Prime subscription service, offering users in-game loot, games and a free subscription on Twitch. Could we see some similarly spicy marketing tactics from Amazon Prime Gaming and Stevenage in the future? Possibly.
Oh, and on top of all this, Stevenage last year launched its own esports platform. So a Prime Gaming sponsorship seems very in-line with all of this.
In any case, I look forward to seeing these shirts when Stevenage goes up against my own team of Watford next week. It's going to be totally poggers.