Astralis's victory at the ELEAGUE major has extended their fortunes as the world's best CS:GO team, according to HLTV's rankings. As such, their sponsorship by Audi earlier this month couldn't have come at a more fortuitous time, for both parties.
While Audi's said that this is only a pilot, they've got to be feeling pretty great about their selection. To learn more about their reasoning for sponsoring Astralis and the prospects for that sponsorship continuing, we caught up with Christian Weiglin Thorn, Audi Denmark's Head of Marketing.
What specifically is Audi looking to achieve with the partnership?
As with other sponsorships, Audi is involved in (eg. winter sports and Home of quattro) the intention is to activate the sponsorship as a lever for a specific product or brand asset. In the case with Astralis, the pilot case for Audi Denmark is focused on activation of the recently launched Q2 and the campaign #untaggable.
This concept is targeted a younger and more digital audience. We are very happy with the positive feedback from the community on the sponsorship in general. The ambition, however, is to create relevant activations and content in cooperation with Astralis and RFRSH Entertainment. We would like it to become more than just a logo on a shirt. Together with RFRSH Entertainment and their experience with esports we are optimistic that we can become a relevant part of this community and also give something back.
What other scenes and fandoms did Audi look into sponsoring before esports, and what was it about esports that ultimately led to the Astralis sponsorship?
We have a strong focus on talent in general and have a local program where we support upcoming Danish talents. When we were approached by RFRSH Ent. we were naturally interested because of the pace this industry is growing at right now. Furthermore, we were very impressed with the professional setup and ambitious goals with the Astralis team.
And then the timing was perfect with our focus on the Q2 #untaggable campaign and the potential to activate this in a very interesting community. Esports are big in Denmark and we saw it as an exciting opportunity to represent a Danish team currently ranked #1 in the world.
Do you foresee the pilot period extending past Dreamhack Masters Las Vegas?
It has from the beginning been our intention to look at it on a longer period and as a cooperation that can involve into different types of partnerships and activations. The important thing is that it creates value for both parties and the fans within the community.
Is Audi looking at partnering with any other teams, brands, or titles in the upcoming months?
Audi Denmark is currently satisfied with the involvement in Astralis and see this as our primary platform for esports. In the future, other teams or eSports organizations might be relevant for us.