LONDON: Mastercard announced on Monday a three-year partnership with the Saudi Esports Federation, which will see the US company becoming an official sponsor of Gamers8, the largest gaming and esports event worldwide.
Under the new deal, Mastercard will curate and deliver a diverse range of activities, highlighting the company’s “commitment to delivering meaningful, one-of-a-kind experiences for consumers, gamers and gaming enthusiasts across the Kingdom” and strengthening its presence in the country.
“Gamers8 is shaping up as a truly unique and history-making event — one that showcases the Kingdom’s growth as a leading digital hub and provides people access to a wholly immersive experience,” said Adam Jones, country general manager for the Middle East and North Africa at Mastercard. “We are delighted to be working with the Saudi Esports Federation and our network to deliver the greatest esports and gaming event ever.
“Our goal is to fully realize the potential of Gamers8 as a unique event — one that invites people to embark on a journey of discovery, fuel their passions, build memories for a lifetime and start something priceless.”
Organized by the Saudi Esports Federation, Gamers8 is a global gaming and esports festival running daily until Sept. 8 at Boulevard Riyadh City.
The event, which has a rich program that includes music concerts, tournaments and esports forums, is expected to attract over 2 million visitors and aims to create an immersive experience that appeals to people from all over the world.
“The Saudi Esports Federation was established to nurture the Kingdom’s elite gaming athletes and develop its gaming community and industry,” Ahmed Al-Bishri, chief operating officer at the Saudi Esports Federation, said in a statement.
“Our partnership with Mastercard represents a significant and timely step forward, one that will not only help us keep pace with the rest of the world but propel us to the leading edge of gaming.
“Together with Mastercard, we look forward to delivering truly rewarding experiences and creating lasting memories for people across the country to revel in. This promises to be a game-changer for all players,” Al-Bishri continued.
As part of the agreement, Mastercard will sponsor the event, hosting a selection of daily tournaments and experiences for gaming enthusiasts to participate in over the course of the esports showpiece.
The partnership comes at a very significant moment for the gaming community in Saudi Arabia as the Kingdom seeks to bolster the digital infrastructure and marks the latest step taken by local authorities to accelerate the country’s digital transformation.