(August 20, 2020) Absolute Power eSports (APE), a Seoul-based esports company that owns SeolHaeOne Prince, League of Legend Champions Korea team, today announced a multi-year strategic partnership agreement with the Pittsburgh Knights.
The Pittsburgh Knights are a premier esports team who have partnered with the Pittsburgh Steelers and have rosters in numerous esports titles, including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Rocket League, Trackmania, Gears 5, Smite, Rainbow Six Siege, and Madden. One of the Knights’ most recognized shareholders are the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the oldest franchised teams in the National Football League (NFL), six-time Super Bowl Champions, and home of former star receiver and Seoul-born, NFL legend, Hines Ward. Another noted shareholder of the Knights is Wiz Khalifa, the multi-platinum recording artist who is well known in Korea for his song “See You Again”.
APE and the Knights signed an MOU in mid June to develop a strategic partnership and establish operations in South Korea and the United States to promote the LCK Franchise. With the signing of an investment agreement, APE aims to gear up its global fan expansion strategies, including global marketing and sales, tournaments and events, online and offline fan engagement activities, and celebrity marketing. The Pittsburgh Knights will look to expand their investment going forward, contingent upon the acquisition of the franchise spot.
Mr. OJ Kim, the owner of APE, said “I believe the future of LCK and APE lies in globalization, and our partnership with the Pittsburgh Knights is the first step in the right direction. The Knights can help us to connect to the vast pool of extensive knowledge and experience in both esports and traditional sports with the Pittsburgh Steelers and other relevant sports-industry stakeholders. The local esports industry has always sought out best practices from well-established traditional sports teams, particularly regarding the expansion of global fans, global content, joint events, educational camps, cross border marketing, and branding. Our partnership with the Knights will be a good example of such joint efforts. We will continue to grow our synergy from the partnership through joint development of global sponsorships, and we will show you the esports team that continues to grow together with LCK”.
Mr. James O’Connor, president of the Pittsburgh Knights, said, “On behalf of our investment group and our team, we are excited to complete the strategic partnership and shareholder participation agreement with APE. We would like to express our sincere enthusiasm for the LCK and its global expansion. The Knights have wanted to participate in the LCK from the moment we launched, and this partnership between APE and the Knights will serve as a best practice example of global strategic partnerships. We will do our best to help the league by sharing the methodologies we’ve adopted with the LCK and APE. Our goals are for the Knights to become actively involved in Korea’s champion-making esports ecosystem, and ultimately to share the intensity, excitement, and culture of APE and the LCK with North and South American audiences. We are committed to giving our full support, now and with future opportunities”.