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The NBA 2K League has announced a partnership with American fast-casual cafe chain Panera Bread Company. The latter will become the presenting sponsor for the basketball esports league’s four-round draft.
Panera Bread partnership
“At Panera, we believe you shouldn’t need to compromise between good and good-for-you when it comes to delivery options,” said Beth Ringer, Vice President, Media Strategy, Panera Bread, in a release. “With gaming being a popular activity for our customers, in partnership with our agency, Connect at Publicis, we jumped at the opportunity to partner with the NBA 2K League and enter into the esports space with such an established partner.”
As part of the partnership, Panera Bread will deliver food to the hosts, broadcasters, and professional esports players during live NBA 2K League broadcasts. In addition, the two will collaborate for the first time on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. EST at Terminal 5 in New York City. This will be an event that will be livestreamed on the league’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
2020 NBA 2K League season
“As we approach our third season and the NBA 2K League continues to grow, we are excited to partner with a world-class brand like Panera Bread,” said NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue. “We are going to have an incredibly talented rookie class and look forward to working with Panera to share their amazing stories as they make their mark on the league, beginning on draft day 2020.”
Each week during the regular season, the league will present a special named “Rookies Who Deliver Presented by Panera Bread.” The series will showcase members of the 2020 rookie class and their lives on and off the virtual court. It will also feature noteworthy performances by rookies throughout the season on the league’s live stream and social media channels.
The 23 NBA 2K League teams will finalize their six-player rosters at the four-round draft. This includes newly announced expansion teams in the Hornets Venom GT and Shanghai’s Gen.G Tigers. Wizards District Gaming has the first overall pick, with Knights Gaming in second and Hawks Talon GC in third. In total, 138 players will compete in the 2020 season.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.