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Report: Coca-Cola and State Farm step away from Overwatch League sponsorship

They follow T-Mobile in the midst of a troubled time for Blizzard

Overwatch’s Tracer points her guns in a piece of key artwork Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

The Overwatch League faces further turmoil, according to a new report. Coca-Cola and State Farm are re-considering their partnerships with the League in the wake of a lawsuit filed by the state of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing over allegations of widespread sexual harassment and discrimination.

As reported by the Washington Post, two of the Overwatch League’s major sponsors are “re-assessing” their relationship with the League. State Farm and Coca Cola are two of the League’s seven sponsors listed on their website, along with IBM, Xfinity, Cheez-It, Pringles, and TeamSpeak.

Brand deals are one of the ways to measure success for a competitive ecosystem like the Overwatch League. The League lost T-Mobile as a sponsor on Tuesday, and it appears as though others may soon follow.

In a statement to the Post, a representative of State Farm said that the insurance provider was “reevaluating our limited marketing relationship with the Overwatch League” and the company has requested that “no advertisements run during the matches this weekend.” A spokesperson for Coca-Cola shared a similar sentiment, saying that the company is “aware of the allegations” and are working to “take a step back for a moment to revisit future plans and programs.”

J. Allen Brack, the head of Blizzard Entertainment, stepped down from his position on Tuesday, with Jen ONeal and Mike Ybarra taking his place as co-leaders. Jesse Meschuk, SVP and senior people officer at Activision-Blizzard, also reportedly left the company this week. Activision-Blizzard employees have been organizing in the face of the company’s response to the lawsuit, including 2,600 signatures on an open letter from past and present employees, and a staged a walkout at Blizzard’s California office and online.

Polygon has reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment and will update this post should we receive new information.

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