UMG & Esports Hub ESL Look to 'Soundtrack the Gaming Experience' With New Label

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Universal Music Group Central Europe has a new way to promote artists. The Berlin-based division of Universal Music Group (UMG), and ESL, the world’s largest esports company, have struck a deal for a multi-year exclusive partnership to help discover and promote new artists through ESL's global tournaments and channels.

Frank Briegmann, president & CEO UMGCE and Deutsche Grammophon, said in a statement that the strategic partnership will include a new joint-label between ESL and UMG, where artists and producers will be able to submit their work to the label's A&R team, who will sign and promote the most exciting talent across all ESL tournaments and channels worldwide.

Briegmann added that the initiative will also include the integration of new music into global live broadcasts and ESL social media channels, as well as performances during live tournaments, which will take place during half-time shows and prior to grand finals globally.

In 2017 more than 300 million people watched ESL events around the world.

"I'm delighted that UMG and ESL, two market leaders in global entertainment, have joined forces," Briegmann said. "Together, our dedicated new label, with its laser-sharp focus on the artists and music of esports, will provide the soundtrack to the gaming experience for this massive global audience for years to come."

"Music is a universal language and, like gaming, one of the key-pillars of pop-culture. Over the last couple years, live music acts have become an integral part of our global tournaments," said Bernhard Mogk, svp global sales & business development, ESL, in a statement. "We are looking forward to giving new artists and talent a new platform to perform on and to provide even more entertainment to our fans, both on-site and for everyone watching our live streams around the world. This joint venture with Universal Music is a win-win for everyone."

The label partnership will be managed out of UMG's Berlin headquarters by Dirk Baur, president marketing labs and Gustav Käll, head of esports at UMG, Central Europe. "I am excited to be part of the first team to work on identifying and pushing artists specifically for the esports space," said Baur. "Marketing Labs specialises in strategies for content targeted at a digital audience and it will be a treat to develop international and multi-platform approaches for the global gaming community."