WWE Taps Esports Fans With Rocket League Tie-In


WWE Psyonix Backlash Rocket League

Rocket League, the vehicular soccer video game, has gathered more than 31 million players across multiple gaming systems since its launch in 2015. Its creators, game developer Psyonix, should get ready to add a few more (make that a lot more) to the list thanks to a new partnership with WWE.

The sports entertainment and esports giants are linking up, as Psyonix has signed on with WWE to sponsor a few of the brand’s upcoming live and pay-per-view events. It will sponsor SmackDown Live’s Backlash on May 21 and Raw’s Great Balls of Fire in July; it will also be one of the sponsors of SummerSlam in August.

The partnership will provide Rocket League with significant visibility and consumer engagement across WWE’s global platforms, including television, digital and social media, and on WWE Network, WWE’s direct-to-consumer streaming service.

Psyonix Rocket League e-sports

“The integrated partnership with Psyonix will provide Rocket League with an opportunity to utilize WWE’s global platforms and reach our passionate fan base, many of whom are avid gamers,” stated John Brody, WWE Executive Vice President, Global Sales & Partnerships. “We look forward to working with Rocket League as we collectively build customized one-stop shopping programs to reach their consumers.”

The co-branding is sure to bring a whole new audience to both sports, with a healthy crossover already making this a seamless fit. Psyonix vice president Jeremy Dunham agrees, saying that he and his staff are big fans of WWE as entertainment and as a savvy brand marketer.

“As WWE fans ourselves, we are well aware of WWE’s strong capabilities as a strategic marketing partner,” he said in a press release. “WWE has proven time and again that they know how to execute fantastic integrated programming, and with an audience that has similar interests to our own, it was only natural that we team up to see what we could do together.”


Those gamers will shortly get to see the Rocket League logo on the WWE Network as part of the deal, ESPN reports. In addition, Rocket League will be featured on six episodes of UpUpDownDown, the gaming channel on YouTube, which will devote six episodes to the game.

Since 2015, Rocket League, which puts gamers in control of automobiles in a competitive, multiplayer soccer-style game, has amassed a global user base across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Mac, SteamOS and Linux.

The game also partnered with Amazon-owned livestreaming platform Twitch in March 2016 to host the Rocket League Championship Series, a competitive esports competition that featured several hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize payouts. It has also tied into two vehicular branding powerhouses — and we don’t mean Cars 3.

It recently partnered with Universal Studios for a tie-in with The Fate of the Furious movie juggernaut release and also with Mattel’s timeless Hot Wheels brand.