Swatch is embracing the rising popularity of e-sports. It became the official partner of the Drone Racing Allianz World Championship Season in June last year, and this month hosted a live streamed drone racing event from its New York flagship.
The event was a viewing party for the 2018 Swatch Drone Racing League tryouts, where 24 drone video-game racers competed for a chance to be sponsored and receive a $75,000 professional racing contract from the watch maker.
The winner, Brodie “Robogenesis” Springer, will race in the 2018 Drone Racing League Allianz World Championship Season, Digiday explained, as well as claim the title of the official Swatch Pilot.
For Swatch, the sponsorship and partnership is a bold marketing move as the world of modern e-sports and traditional watchmaking don’t normally go hand in hand.
However the choice isn’t a bad one, in 2017, 55 million people watched the DRL World Championship, 100 million if you include those online.
“Swatch was particularly excited to commit itself, in partnership with the Drone Racing League, to running the 2018 Tryouts and offering everyone a chance to become the next professional drone pilot by participating in this digital tournament. We are also pleased to announce that the winner, Brodie “Robogenesis” Springer, is the new official Swatch Pilot. His skills and passion reflect the values of these elite competitions and we are thrilled to have him on board,” a Swatch spokesperson said.