EMERGE Esports, Southeast Asia’s fastest growing esports network organisation, has announced the launch of its new retail line, EMPOWER, and an exclusive collection of co-designed apparel which will be physically available for purchase at its first pop-up store located at EMPOWER’s first venue partner, Funan, Basement 2, from 22 to 30 October 2022.
Held in conjunction with The International 2022 (TI11) hosted in Singapore, EMPOWER has partnered with professional teams on the DOTA Pro Circuit (DPC) including TI debutants ranked top 8 in the DPC, BOOM Esports, TI3 champion Alliance, and gaming juggernaut Talon.
The brand is also collaborating with Chinese esports merchandise company, ONWEAR, to bring two other top 8 teams in the DPC, 2022 ESL One Malaysia runner-up Team Aster, as well as the North American DOTA 2 giant, TSMFTX, onboard.
EMPOWER will not only feature the teams’ jerseys and a never-before-revealed line of apparel but will also celebrate and commemorate gameplay highlights of the various teams.
Both fans and the public will also be allowed in on an experiential tour at the pop-up as they relive the highs and learn about the history of these esports teams.
EMPOWER – The New Omnichannel Esports Retail Initiative
Working directly with the esports teams, EMPOWER is the centre of supporting esports teams and gaming figures to go beyond their home grounds.
EMPOWER aims to enable esports retail distribution and representation through an omnichannel retail approach to enable fans with a fuss-free experience.
EMERGE has identified the lack of a robust retail distribution channel and the difficulties of selling and buying from both the esports teams and their fans.
Currently, most merchandise are sold online through the team’s own e-commerce or social commerce platforms.
Fans often encounter difficulties in getting hold of merchandise that are sold only in the team’s home country and verifying the authenticity of the products if they have purchased through third parties.
For its first launch, fans will now be able to shop at their preferred online or offline platform. Fans can choose to purchase ahead of time from the EMPOWER’s online store and subsequently collect their purchases at the inaugural pop-up at Funan.
The collection will also be available for purchase at a later date through distribution partners Wanyoo Cyber Cafe, Reality Rift Arena (Bugis+ outlet), and at the pop-up store.
EMPOWER will look to further expand its omnichannel strategy for other upcoming launches with doorstep delivery made available.
“With EMPOWER, we want visitors to immerse themselves in the esports fandom like never before”, explains Koh Jia Jun, Chief Operating Officer of EMERGE Esports. “We want to emulate and build upon the traditional sports scene.
Similar to traditional sports, we want to unite fans through their mutual love for their favourite esports teams and players.
We are also looking to widen our omnichannel strategy and open more of such retail and experience centres across Southeast Asia, especially in big gaming economies such as Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.”
#EMPOWERTHEDREAM of Esports
While the launch of EMPOWER focuses on partnering with participating esports teams in the DOTA 2 pro circuit, there will be an extension to teams in other gaming titles. “The esports merchandise market holds huge untapped potential, and we believe that through our initiative we can empower teams to grow by offering them an alternative revenue stream.
We have debuted with DOTA 2 teams but we plan to expand to teams and esports athletes playing in other gaming titles very soon,” shares Yah Ting Zhi, Head of Talent and Team Management at EMERGE Esports.
At its first launch, fans can expect signed jerseys in limited quantities for sale, a chance to meet their favourite esports personalities at the Funan pop-up store, and one lucky fan will also be rewarded with a PlayStation 5 set.
Other brands featured at the experiential store include Singapore gaming headset brand IINVICTOR and esports gaming tournament platform, GEMS. Following the launch, EMPOWER looks to introduce even more fan-based events such as meet-and-greets to bring fans and teams across the region together.
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