Cinema is about to get interactive with the launch of CineLeague – an international esports tournament hosted, broadcast and centred around movie theatres.
The initiative comes from the UK-based Cooldown Ventures who look to unlock the potential that cinema venues have beyond traditional studio content, by presenting esports content in a shared venue, that builds communities and delivers an engaging experiences for Millennial and GenZ audiences.
Pakistan’s Cinepax, which runs 13 sites with 45 screens in nine cities including Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Hyderabad and Islamabad – the equivalent to 7,400 seats nationwide – has been announced as the first international CineLeague partner.
Cooldown Ventures, which owns Manchester-based team Vexed Gaming, has been consulting with Cinepax to help curate content for the cinema chain’s esports pre-show events, which will eventually feed out into the international tournaments.
Vexed Gaming, the Manchester-based esports team owned by Cooldown Ventures, is also undertaking a friendship tour of Pakistan in 2020, bringing a world class professional team to play alongside the best local talent.
Cooldown Ventures is currently in discussion with a further 10 international cinema chains as part of the initial CineLeague roll out. Key objectives include giving cinemas a profitable alternative to studio content for their venues, as well as a way to engage with Millennials and Gen Zs (many of whom forego cinema for other pursuits).
On top of this, it is hoped that the initiative will drive incremental and new revenue streams from premium tickets, event activity, enhanced sponsorship/brand engagements, merchandising and concession sales, while creating enthusiastic esports-focussed local communities, centred around the local cinema.
“The CineLeague delivers esports to new audiences with a cinematic twist, creating exciting opportunities for movie theatre chains and the existing esports community,” said Sonny Waheed, chief marketing officer at Cooldown Ventures.
“We’re delighted to be working with Cinepax to develop esports in Pakistan – the market and many others like it are hungry for new entertainment experiences that deliver new revenue streams for incumbent providers. Esports is the perfect fit.”
“Esports is huge in Pakistan and it’s great to be able to nurture and build local talent and deliver locally created content,” said Cinepax CEO Mariam El Bacha. “Cooldown Ventures are unique in understanding both esports and the specific dynamic that is the cinema industry, and have helped deliver a programme that will offer engaging, community-driven content that leverages the power of esports and the excitement of big screen entertainment.”