Australian National Rugby League (NRL) team Bulldogs announced on May 13 their partnership with play-to-earn blockchain game Illuvium as a sponsor for the front of their shorts. The Illuvium logo will be displayed on the front of the shorts of the team’s uniform for the rest of the NRL season of 2022.
Australian National Rugby League (NRL) Team Bulldogs have announced today, May 13, on their site a special partnership with Illuvium as their sponsor for their shorts. The Illuvium logo will now proudly be displayed in the front of their shorts for the Bulldogs NRL season 2022.
For those unfamiliar, Illuvium is a blockchain NFT game that is based on the Ethereum blockchain network. It’s a creature collector and auto battler game similar to Axie Infinity. The game has a play-to-earn model with a graphically-rich sci-fi adventure theme. It’s set to be released later this year on the PC followed by a mobile release soon after
The Bulldogs partnership is the first elite sporting sponsorship of Illuvium. It is also one of the first blockchain games to have a partnership with a major sporting league or team. Some may remember that F1 racing had also partnered with a blockchain game called F1 Delta Time.
With this announcement, Illuvium becomes the official front of shorts and online blockchain game partner of the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. They plan to unveil and launch the new apparel for the team during this weekend’s Magic Round game against the Newcastle Knights.
This is a milestone for the game Illuvium and for blockchain games in general as this is the first time a blockchain game would have this kind of exposure to the mainstream market let alone a popular sports team like the Bulldogs. Such exposure will allow for common folk and even mainstream gamers to become aware of Illuvium and perhaps encourage them to explore other blockchain games as well.
Blockchain games in the past mostly existed as a niche in their own communities without much awareness from the gaming community as a whole. It only gained mainstream recognition during the pandemic lockdown when Axie Infinity’s popularity soared due to it being an alternative source of income. Since then, more and more blockchain games have become available looking for a piece of the market.
Blockchain games though are still generally distrusted by the mainstream gaming community. Despite big studios like Sega, Square Enix, and Ubisoft launching their own plans into the NFT game space, it has received harsh criticism and strong negative backlash from gamers.
However, this move by the Bulldogs could be seen as a game-changer. Bulldogs Chief Executive Aaron Warburton has stated that they are extremely delighted with this new partnership. In a statement, he says, “we are extremely pleased to welcome Illuvium on board as a partner in 2022. Illuvium will be a new and exciting way for fans to get involved in a modern and market-leading Australian business, and we are looking forward to partnering on that journey with Illuvium.”
Illuvium Co-founder Kieran Warwick echoes his excitement for the partnership. Warwick is a Bulldogs fan and supporter as well and so he looks forward to finding ways to support the team and creating opportunities to engage fans with blockchain gaming and bringing the team to the future. Warwick said in a statement, “we look forward to welcoming Bulldogs fans & the wider Rugby League community to the online blockchain gaming space in 2022.”