Professional video game league Major League Gaming (MLG), which received $10 million in funding
from Ritchie Capital in a February deal, has now announced a number of major sponsorship and programming deals, including a television broadcasting agreement with the USA Network and new sponsors, as it expands its program to help compete with other major leagues.
The first MLG tournament will take place in Secaucus, NJ this Friday to Sunday, and the pro circuit will also travel to Dallas (May), Atlanta (June), Los Angeles (July) and Philadelphia (August). The playoffs will be held in Chicago (October) and the National Championships will be held in Las Vegas (November).
With regards to the broadcast deal, league programming, available at MLGpro.com all year long, will culminate in seven one-hour episodes that will air on the USA Network during the holiday season. In addition, the company also announced a MLG Pro Invasion Bus Tour, which will kick off in the summer and make 100 stops around the country. The Tour features MLG pros traveling across the U.S. in search of the next generation of professional gamers.
Mobile phone provider Boost Mobile, has signed a multi-year title sponsorship deal with MLG, which includes a partnership to distribute exclusive MLG content on Boost Mobile® phones. In addition, car company Scion has signed to a Presenting sponsorship with MLG for the 2006 Season, and will award the "most improved" player on the 2006 MLG pro circuit a limited-production Scion xB Release Series 3.0 car at the culmination of the season.
Elsewhere in the same pro gaming market, the World Series Of Games, which is a new tournament circuit created by William Morris division Games Media, recently announced
a partnership with the Cyberathlete Professional League to make the 2006 CPL Summer Championship the second event in the inaugural the World Series, and the World Cyber Games recently signed
a major sponsorship deal with Microsoft, showing the upsurge in interest for the sector.