Rocket League x Ally to promote women in esports
Rocket League Esports has partnered with U.S. bank holding company Ally Financial Inc. The partnership aims to promote women in esports, especially the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS), via Ally’s gaming marketing activities.
Ally promised earlier in 2022 to achieve gender parity in media coverage of all sports, including esports. To accomplish this mission, Ally and Rocket League Esports will hold the Ally Women’s Open, a women’s Rocket League competition to boost the presence of women in esports.
Radiant, a gaming and electronic sports media firm, will oversee the tournament’s organization. Heather Garozzo, the Radiant’s leader, was the first woman inducted into the Esports Insider Hall of Fame in 2019 and the Women in Gaming Hall of Fame in 2021.
In addition to endorsing the Ally Women’s Open, the company will also buy ads and integrate them into RLCS North American season broadcasts.
North America and Europe’s women’s tournament begins on March 26. Fans can watch the Ally Women’s Open on Rocket League’s Twitch Channel.
After dabbling in the gaming realm with a presence on Twitch, Animal Crossing and Minecraft, this is Ally’s first esports partnership in competitive gaming.
Ally’s executive director of brand and partnerships, Bridget Sponsky, said men have always had a competitive advantage in esports. To address this gap, the company has pledged equal advertising investment across “men’s and women’s sports for the next five years.”
She reiterated that the company supports the idea that all athletes deserve a fair chance at success, whether in the field, the racetrack or gaming.
The executive director also explained that this sponsorship allows them to interact with fans and players in a hugely popular business while increasing exposure and money prospects for the incredibly gifted female competitors.
Rocket League has been around since 2015 and is an award-winning sports-action video game that combines soccer and rocket-powered automobiles.
Ally Women’s Open is one of the league’s many women’s competitions. Rocket League also has Women’s Car Ball League (WCB), its most extensive women’s competition. WCB is a friendly place for female players of all skill levels to hang out, learn and compete.
WCB’s fifth season began in late 2022 to record viewership but was suspended in the middle of the year after the Kansas City Pioneers (KCP), who ran the league, had trouble finding sponsors to pay for the games.
The trouble resulted in Rebecca Longawa, the CEO of the Women’s Car Ball Rocket League tournament circuit, resigning, alleging a lack of communication with KCP.
The former CEO said she hadn’t heard from the KCP since February 1, even though the Pioneers had been boasting about a collaboration to restart the league.
Her resignation came just one week after the KCP announced on February 12 that they had acquired an unknown partner to continue the rest of the season and “support the future” of WCB.
On February 24, 2023, Forbes reported that Gamers First (G1), a company that produces competitive video games, had purchased the WCB, restarting the series after it was temporarily suspended.
Kenny Vaccaro, founder and CEO of G1, said that G1 remains committed to aiding gaming’s most underrepresented populations.
Vaccaro argued that by working with the Women’s Car Ball League, the corporation was repurposing its significant influence on a single team’s roster and extending that mentality to “hundreds of skilled and competitive women.”
“It’s been time for women in esports to find their spotlight, and we’re going to give it to them,” Vaccaro said.