The company has been involved in a number of e-sports initiatives since last year, such as being the primary sponsor and official nutrition partner of the Guangzhou Charge team in the 2020 – 2022 season of Overwatch League.
Last month, it also opened the Herbalife Nutrition X Nenking eSports Center in Greater Bay Area International Sports and Cultural Center (GBA Center) located in Foshan.
The center consists of simulation training stage, gym, a live broadcast room, sports and leisure area as a training base, a place for health management, and other logistical support for Nenking’s e-sports teams. Nenking is a Foshan-based company with diversifying business, including sports, real estate, and finance etc.
Similar to traditional athletes, Herbalife believes that esports players similarly requires basic nutrition, fitness, and good sleep habits for peak performance.
In particular, the company is seeing opportunities in meeting their needs for fitness, sleep, and stress relief.
This is because esports athletes are exposed to intense physical and mental strains.
“Due to the high-intensity and high-pressure training environment and irregular work hours, players of Guangzhou Charge face health problems such as physical strain and eyestrain due to intense use.
“We encourage e-sports athletes to develop a healthy and active lifestyle to relieve physical and mental pressure. As e-sports fans often view star players as their role model, the communities will follow their lead and adapt healthier lifestyle as well,” said Woody Guo, Managing Director of Herbalife Nutrition China and Senior Vice President of Herbalife Nutrition.
The company said it saw opportunities to collaborate with the Overwatch League on developing nutrition products specifically for esports needs in the future.
At the moment, as part of its sponsorship of the Guangzhou charge team, the company is providing protein and VMS nutrition products to the team from its Herbalife24 series – the company’s professional sports nutrition line. The series consists of products as such “Herbalife24 Prepare” for maintaining focus and performance and supporting healthy blood flow using L-Arginine and L-citrulline.
Other sponsored products are from the company’s regular nutrition line, including Performance Protein Powder, Protein Drink Mix, vitamin and mineral supplements, Herbal Tea Concentration, Trip Berry Complex, and Herbal Aloe Powder.
The company also established a health monitoring and training improvement system for the Overwatch League e-sports players.
In addition, players will have access to Herbalife Nutrition’s doctors, scientists, and nutritionists who will provide nutrition and fitness advices targeting their needs.
China and esports
China would become the largest games livestreaming market in the world with nearly 200 million audiences by this year.
Moreover, e-sports are gaining professional recognition, with it being included in the 2022 Asian Games.
“As e-sports continues to gain popularity and prominence, with significant growth of professional athletes competing on a global stage, we believe that similar to traditional sports, basic nutrition, fitness and sleep habits are also the foundation for good performance in e-sports.
“We see this as an opportunity to have a real positive influence on the health and wellbeing of these emerging athletes and teams,” said Guo.
As the audience of esports are mostly Generation Z (under 25 years old), Herbalife Nutrition hopes that by sponsoring professional esports teams, it would be able to capture and meet the needs of this group of consumers.
According to the company, 64 per cent of the audience of esports are from Gen Z.
“A lot of young consumers are attaching greater importance to personal nutrition and health. In China, more than 80% of Herbalife Nutrition’s target audiences are of the millennial generation, including the Generation Z.
“Through this sponsorship, we hope to positively influence the younger demographic on the benefits of improved nutrition, exercise and sleep and make our brand attractive to young people,” said Guo.