There are plans afoot to launch GAME concessions inside Sports Direct shops.
Today GAME entered into a “collaboration agreement” with Sports Direct as part of a £3.2m esports deal. But of note in the announcement is a line about “plans to enter into concession agreements with Sports Direct, pursuant to which Belong arenas and/or GAME Retail stores will be sited in selected Sports Direct locations”.
There’s no word on how these GAME concessions will look, or what stock they’ll prioritise. I imagine there will be plenty of video game merchandise, particularly video game T-shirts. Will you be able to trade-in your old games for new trainers? Or new trainers for old games?
As part of the deal, Sports Direct has acquired a 50 per cent interest in the rights of the Belong intellectual property for £3.2m, and a 50 per cent profit share of future profits of Belong and associated venues as part of its drive to get into esports. Sports Direct already owns a quarter of GAME after snapping up shares back in July 2017. Belong is GAME’s video game experience and tournament brand, and an increasing focus for the company as it moves to broaden its appeal beyond falling boxed video game sales.
Here’s a quote from GAME boss Martyn Gibbs:
“I am delighted that through the Collaboration Agreement we are able to accelerate the implementation of a key element of our transformational strategy to move from a seller of physical products to providing gaming experiences.
“As more consumer focus and spend moves to experiences, we are well advanced in delivering unique, world class gaming at both local and national level. Having launched the Belong brand just over a year ago, we have now opened 19 arenas and are very encouraged by the popularity and performance of these locations.
“We look forward to collaborating with Sports Direct to increase the availability and scale of Belong and to capitalise on the increasing overlap between sports and esports fans by bringing this unique experience to a wider consumer base.”