Qlash strengthens its Valencia ties, partnering with Kelme

By Tobias Seck

European esports organization Qlash announced today that it’s secured Spanish sports apparel brand Kelme as a technical partner in Spain. As part of the partnership, the two brands will present the club’s new jersey during DreamHack Valencia, a gaming and esports festival taking place on July 1-3. Financial details were not disclosed.

Qlash was founded in 2017 in Italy but has since expanded its footprint with efforts in Spain, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Egypt and Latin America. As part of its expansion strategy, the esports organization teamed up with strategic partners such as Italian soccer club AC Milan, the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks and Spanish soccer outfit Villarreal CF. Qlash also established esports and gaming facilities in its core markets, including the 27,000-square-foot Qlash House in Italy, a facility near Valencia in Spain, and a gaming house in Mexico City, Mexico. Additionally, Qlash partnered with several strategic investors, including MMA fighter Marvin Vettori and soccer pro Victor Camarasa, and raised approximately $1.2 million in an oversubscribed crowdfunding campaign in September 2021.

The partnership with Valencia-headquartered Kelme plays into Qlash’s strategy to become the most relevant esports club in the city through partnerships with brands home to the region. Qlash head of marketing Pablo Monti told Sports Business Journal that the deal with Kelme was negotiated directly between the two without any agency involvement. Monti, who led the negotiations for the esports organization with a colleague, also stated that the organization is hoping for the partnership to become a long-term relationship.

Qlash is the second esports organization in Kelme’s partnership portfolio. The brand is also supporting Spanish esports organization KOI since its formation last year by popular Twitch streamer and former LVP caster Ibai Llanos and FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué. Kelme is also an active sponsor in the sports world with dozens of supported teams in basketball, volleyball, futsal and cricket; in addition to more than 100 sponsorships with soccer clubs around the world in niche markets such as Jordan, Egypt, Nepal, Vietnam, Ukraine and Thailand. Kelme also was a very active sponsor in cycling from 1979 until the team representing the brand was involved in a major doping scandal in 2004.

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