IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced Friday that it reached the first-of-a-kind multi-year deal with Overwatch League, a professional esports league for the video game Overwatch produced by Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI).
Under the agreement, the multinational technology company said it will help with the power interactive and analytical content for the Overwatch League. It will also engage fans and players through the cloud, IBM's Watson artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
Noah Syken, the vice president of sports & entertainment partnerships of IBM said, “We're thrilled to bring our world class Cloud platforms and Watson portfolio to one of the leading esports platforms in the world.”
He added, “The solutions we're partnering to create can help the organizations, players, and fans enjoy an even more immersive, engaging experience. We look forward to working with the Overwatch League, to bring innovative solutions at scale, to broad and relevant audiences.”
IBM said it will begin sponsoring the Overwatch League in 2021. The deal marks the first time for IBM to step into the global world of esports.
The shares of IBM slipped 2.81% to $127.79 apiece Friday, while the shares of ATVI inched 41 cents higher, to $78.21.