SBD/February 16, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Major League Gaming Signs Deal With IMG To Lead Global Expansion Efforts

IMG hopes to use MLG partnership to reach more consumers aged 12-34
Major League Gaming has struck a broad-based partnership with IMG Worldwide in which IMG Media will lead global expansion efforts for the popular, N.Y.-based competitive video gaming league. IMG will pursue a variety of programming, distribution, licensing and marketing efforts for MLG around the globe, initially targeting gaming hotspots such as Korea, China, Brazil and the U.K. The pact, developed rather quickly over the past two months, will likely begin to yield tangible international efforts later this year. "Global expansion wasn't really on our menu for 2011, and now it is," said MLG CEO & co-Founder Sundance DiGiovanni. "Nobody else is such a logical fit with such a proven track record to help us with this. This is about as non-distractive [to core, U.S.-based operations] as global expansion can be." IMG, for its part, was aggressively seeking a greater involvement in video gaming, particularly as the industry continues to build a deep stronghold among consumers aged 12-34 and various online and social gaming models explode in popularity and usage. Financial terms were not disclosed, but both sides will be incentivized to develop international gaming outlets. "MLG has already built a dominant brand and has shown some very provocative ratings among their core demos," said IMG Media President Michel Masquelier. "This is a space we see great opportunity in, and MLG is the right partner and this is the right deal. MLG is exactly the kind of client I like to do business with. They're young, open-minded, have strong personalities and have a global vision." MLG will begin its eighth annual Pro Circuit tour April 1 in Dallas.
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