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Jun 14, 2020

BLAST partners with NEOM to help shape esports vision

Announcing a ground-breaking global partnership with NEOM that will propel the growth of esports in Saudi Arabia, signifying NEOM’s commitment to building a dynamic and innovative esports community and ambition to become the esports regional hub.

Commenting on the agreement, NEOM Sport Managing Director, Jan Paterson, said: “NEOM aims to become a global hub for sport that unites communities, enables active, balanced lifestyles and accelerates innovation. Esports is growing at a rapid pace and NEOM is perfectly positioned to become the regional esports hub. We are excited about the experience and benefits NEOM can bring to the industry. We will have an advanced technological base and venues designed specifically for esports. In addition, we aim to inspire the development of young Saudi and international talent through a fully immersive esports academy.”

Robbie Douek, CEO for BLAST, said: “Esports is at the centre of NEOM’s exciting plans for Sport, we’re delighted to be able to assist them in shaping this long-term goal. This is a record deal for BLAST and testament to our recent growth and standing in the industry right now”

“We have a strong track record when it comes to producing global events that encompass a leading broadcast product and inspires lovers of esports, we hope to leverage this knowledge and expertise to help build a first-in-class partnership that will allow NEOM to create a thriving esports ecosystem.”

The unique deal will seek to engage, educate and benefit the local and global esports ecosystem. As part of the partnership BLAST will develop technology and share expertise to help build the esports academy and develop the sport in the Kingdom.

The last six months has seen BLAST content and tournaments delivered to a global audience in over 100 markets and 152m households while the esports company’s social media has similarly enjoyed significant recent success with the increase in followers and subscribers by 107% during this period.
NEOM will introduce a new model for urban sustainability and be a place that is focused on setting new standards for the effective and productive use of technology – with esports at the heart of this ambition. The international project will be led, populated and funded by people from all over the world.

Last year NEOM signed a memorandum of understanding with the Saudi Arabian Federation of Electronic and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS) to help support and promote esports in the region – with the ultimate goal of becoming the focal point for the industry in the region.

In 2019 BLAST hosted its highly anticipated Global Final in Bahrain leaving a lasting esports legacy in the Middle East and delivering 297m minutes of watched action to a global audience of 13.9m. The tournament organiser will be hoping to host future events in this region.

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