Overwatch League losing sponsors left, right and centre over Activision Blizzard scandal
Coca Cola is the latest sponsor to pull out of the Overwatch League following the Activision Blizzard sexual harassment lawsuit.
The league has seven sponsors, but many companies are re-evaluating their relationship with the developer and its esports league.
Coca Cola and State Farm now join T-Mobile in pulling their branding, as reported by IGN.
State Farm said in a statement they are “reevaluating our limited marketing relationship with the Overwatch League” and have asked their ads to be pulled.
Similarly, Coca Cola are “aware of the allegations surrounding Activision Blizzard” and are “working with our partners at Blizzard as we take a step back for a moment to revisit future plans and programs.”
In a report by Dexerto, T-Mobile sponsorship disappeared during the most recent event and their logo was taped over on player jerseys.
The Overwatch League sponsorship changes come in the wake of the lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, the Overwatch developer, from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
The company is accused of having a “frat boy” culture with frequent instances of sexual harassment.
That includes an infamous alcohol-fuelled ‘Cosby Suite’, the epicentre of the toxic culture.
Activision Blizzard employees are disappointed with the company’s response to the lawsuit and allegations and staged a formal walkout in protest.
Most recently, top exec Frances Townsend deleted her Twitter account after receiving criticism for sharing an article on whistleblowing in the midst of the allegations.
CEO Bobby Kotick addressed the lawsuit in a recent earnings call.
“I want to start by making it clear to everyone that there is no place at our company where discrimination, harassment or unequal treatment of any kind will be tolerated,” he said.
“Our work environment – everywhere we operate – will not permit discrimination, harassment or unequal treatment. We will be the company that sets the example for this in our industry. While we’ve taken many steps towards this objective already, today we are taking even more.”