According to the Washington Post, sponsors of the Overwatch League are distancing themselves from the league after a lawsuit involving sexual harassment issues in Activision Blizzard. These sponsors include T-Mobile, Coca-Cola and State Farm. All T-Mobile branding has disappeared, but Coca-Cola and State Farm are still listed amongst the league’s sponsors on their website.
Sponsors distance themselves from the Overwatch League
State Farm started sponsoring the Overwatch League in 2019. The company gave the Washington Post two statements involving this, saying that they were “re-evaluating our limited marketing relationship with the Overwatch League” and that “no advertisements run during the matches this weekend.”
Coca-Cola also spoke to the Post, mentioning that they were “aware of the allegations surrounding Activision Blizzard,” and were “working with our partners at Blizzard as we take a step back for a moment to revisit future plans and programs.” They refused to comment on if they would continue sponsoring the Overwatch League.
T-Mobile was another brand that distanced itself from both the Overwatch League and Call of Duty League. Teams like the New York Subliners in the COD League taped over the T-Mobile logo on their jerseys. Along with that, all branding has disappeared from their websites and content. This even includes third-party events such as the Overwatch League caster-hosted podcast Plat Chat. The company has refused to comment on both Plat Chat and the larger Activision Blizzard situation.
This happened not long after Activision Blizzard’s company leader J. Allen Brack stepped down and Jen Oneal and Mike Ybarra took his place. Even with new leadership in charge, the issue of discrimination and harassment remains. Workers in Blizzard protested, walking out on work to stand against these issues. Activision Blizzard’s lack of response and choice of law firm for these issues brought condemnation from the worker’s alliance. All these issues coming from the lawsuit have led to sponsors reconsidering their association with the Overwatch League.