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Wotc Is Sponsoring A Football Team

Magic: the Gathering logos will be on Leyton Orient FC's training wear.

The sponsorship is for the 2021/022 season.

Leyton Orient FC is an East London football club dating back to 1881. It competes in the EFL League Two, which is the fourth division in English football.


2560px-Leyton_Orient_F.C._logo.svg.png
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey



wicked cool

Adventurer
Can someone tell me about this team? how well known is this team in London? curious if the majority route for Sutton United in London?

i was surprised it actually hosted some professional international games as the stadium seems small?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Can someone tell me about this team? how well known is this team in London?
I don't really know football, but I think the league it plays in is like the lowest one.


curious if the majority route for Sutton United in London?

Seems unlikely. The Premier League London teams are Arsenal, Chelsea, Brentford, West Ham, Tottenham Hotspur, and Crystal Palace. Sutton United appears to be 3 entire leagues lower.

 

Wicht

Adventurer
Makes me a little curious as to who approached who with the idea? Is there someone on the Team that works for Wizards (seems unlikely)? Is someone at Wizards a fan of the team? Is the team big into Magic?
 


grimslade

Doddering Old Git
This is interesting. Premier League sponsorship would be lost in the noise of huge ad campaigns. Leyton Orient is followed by locals and would be easier to spot an upward trend in local game purchasing and involvement. I am curious how many football fans are itching to hit the local games club and roll a few d20s?
 


John Dallman

Adventurer
Can someone tell me about this team? how well known is this team in London? curious if the majority route for Sutton United in London?

I was surprised it actually hosted some professional international games as the stadium seems small?
They are in the lowest of the English fully-professional leagues. Like most such clubs, they have a complex history, and are regularly saved from going broke by wealthy men who supported them as boys. Their ground has hosted under-16 and women's international matches, but those draw small crowds compared to the adult men's matches. They have good name recognition in London, because of their unusual name, but since the sponsorship is of their training outfits, rather than the kit they wear in competitive matches, its impact will be limited to quite dedicated fans of the side. Those will mostly be locals.

For the avoidance of doubt, this kind of football is soccer, not anything resembling American football. Men's soccer is huge in the UK and Europe; women's soccer is on a smaller scale, more similar to its popularity in the USA. American football is known in the UK, and played as an amateur sport on a fairly small scale, but as far as I know there are no professional sides.

I'd guess that someone at WotC UK had some advertising budget spare, and some combination of personal connection, the dragon logo and a low price led to an experiment.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The 'perfect partnership' statements are quite funny.

Brian Trunk, Sr. Director and Head of EMEA & LATAM, Wizards of the Coast, said: “We are so excited for Magic: The Gathering to be venturing into the realm of football this season. Leyton Orient is an ambitious and exciting club and a fantastic match for our drive to always push the boundaries to deliver the highest quality entertainment to our fans. We very much see this partnership as a winning combination!”

Josh Stephens, Leyton Orient’s Head of Commercial, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Magic: The Gathering this season. With strategy, logic and dedication being integral parts in both Magic and Leyton Orient game play, the partnership really is the perfect fit.”
 

In the US, teams that are not in the top division seem to get very little attention, but in the UK soccer scene this isn't the case. My father's family come from the West of London, and when I grew up Brentford were solidly a third division team. They even dipped into the fourth division in 1998. And now they're in the Premier League. Their home ground is called "Brentford Community Stadium" and they share it with a (rather good) Rugby club.

So, when an English football fan hears that someone is supporting a 4th division team (EFL 2, technically), they don't think "well no-one's going to see them on TV anytime soon". They think of clubs like Brentford and think "in ten years this team could be in the most watched sporting league in the world. They think "Maybe Leyton Orient will one day be watched by the three billion people that watch the Premier League every year"

Yeah, it's unlikely. But it does happen. Brentford did it . And gamers love an underdog that beats the odds ...
 



GreyLord

Hero
I see it more like American Football in the US with their High School Football teams. It's hard for someone to imagine how Big American Football is in the US. The best I could relate to someone is that it's like a religion. If you are Baptist you have one religion that you go to church on Sunday for an hour or two each week, and one REAL religion which you live...which is American Football.

High School is just the first block of bigger things...and it can be BIG for the local community. College Football rivals any football (Soccer) crowd that you will see in the UK...and Pro Football...that can be something else.

It's hard for people from outside the South to realize just how big College Football games can be. I lived in a town of 30K which was a college town...when a football game was a homegame the town grew to be 300K. It didn't matter that they couldn't all fit into the stadium, they'd just park anywhere and have a tailgate party listening to the game outside the stadium or whereever they could find. If you didn't reserve a hotel a year in advance, you weren't getting a room in town that day.

I moved out of that town eventually to a nice little country town with no college. In that town on Friday nights, the High school had 20K people trying to all crowd into it...in a town of 30K (yeah, I seem to like that size of city sometimes I guess).

Doesn't matter where I go in the US, American Football seems to be a big thing, even the local teams.
 



Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I see it more like American Football in the US with their High School Football teams. It's hard for someone to imagine how Big American Football is in the US. The best I could relate to someone is that it's like a religion. If you are Baptist you have one religion that you go to church on Sunday for an hour or two each week, and one REAL religion which you live...which is American Football.

High School is just the first block of bigger things...and it can be BIG for the local community. College Football rivals any football (Soccer) crowd that you will see in the UK...and Pro Football...that can be something else.

It's hard for people from outside the South to realize just how big College Football games can be. I lived in a town of 30K which was a college town...when a football game was a homegame the town grew to be 300K. It didn't matter that they couldn't all fit into the stadium, they'd just park anywhere and have a tailgate party listening to the game outside the stadium or whereever they could find. If you didn't reserve a hotel a year in advance, you weren't getting a room in town that day.

I moved out of that town eventually to a nice little country town with no college. In that town on Friday nights, the High school had 20K people trying to all crowd into it...in a town of 30K (yeah, I seem to like that size of city sometimes I guess).

Doesn't matter where I go in the US, American Football seems to be a big thing, even the local teams.
This thread is about M:tG sponsoring a small London football club.
 

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