Virtus Pro signed up Russian telecom company MegaFon back at the start of July to act as the team’s main sponsor for the biggest Dota 2 tournament in the world, The International. But the sponsorship goes a little bit further than traditional esports partnerships.
For the past month, MegaFon’s logo has appeared on the team’s website and social media. Now Virtus Pro has announced that it is changing the organizations entire color scheme from the classic orange to green and purple to match MegaFon’s company colors.
“As part of our partnership starting from The International 2018 and until the end of the year all our line-ups will represent MegaFon brand colors.” Roman Dvoryankin, General Manager of Virtus Pro, said in the announcement. “Our logo will change accordingly, as well.”
Virtus Pro is changing its iconic brand identity all for a single sponsorship deal—that’s pretty unusual, given sponsors are usually attracted by that brand recognition. The new colors aren’t permanent though, the purple and green will only last through the end of 2018.
But Virtus Pro might not revert back to the long-time style when that deal ends. The organization is teasing big changes for the team’s image for 2019 as part of the 15th anniversary of the team. Those changes will be announced in November.
Sponsorships usually come with some changes or media obligations for the organizations involved. TSM’s Dr. Pepper sponsorship saw its League of Legends team become Power Rangers, and SK Telecom T1’s star mid laner appeared in a classic Doritos commercial in Asia. Virtus Pro and MegaFon’s sponsorship deal, however, goes further than that.
The new strips will be seen at some of the biggest events in esports coming up, including The International and the upcoming Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major in London.