ESports Professional

Knights and PNC Bank extend diversity-focused partnership

North American organisation Pittsburgh Knights has extended its partnership with PNC Bank through to 2024.

PNC Bank will remain the preferred partner of Knights Nation and both parties will continue creating activations around diversity in gaming. Last year, the two organisations launched an initiative called the ‘Women in Esports Steering Committee‘ that included a virtual round table series.

Pittsburgh Knights PNC
Image credit: Pittsburgh Knights

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The ‘next phase’ of the brand partnership will include a platform where professionals can share experiences, successes and insights to help ‘break down barriers’ and to level the playing field for women, whilst highlighting the benefits of diversity.

When the initiative debuted in 2020, it consulted a variety of experts in the industry, This included Anupama Jain, Director of Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission, Sonia Ruef, athletic trainer for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Aerial Powers, professional basketball player for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.

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Knights President James O’Connor stated: “Both the Knights and PNC Bank are committed to the drive for greater equality for women in esports and recognise this is an important goal that cannot be achieved by one group alone.

“We’ve seen first-hand the level of commitment PNC has to advancing diversity and inclusion, as well as to supporting our community. PNC is a great  corporate role model and the Knights are proud to continue building on our relationship.”

PNC’s partnership with the Knights last year was the financial institution’s first foray into esports. The bank joins a variety of brand sponsors in the Knights’ corner, including HyperX, Boost Gaming, SSB, Sheetz, and SeolHaeOne Prince parent company Absolute Power eSports (APE).

Esports Insider says: The conversation continues around women in esports and addressing the perceived lack thereof in our industry. While there are many women working behind the scenes, fewer are sharing the spotlight in tournaments or holding leadership positions. The reasons why are still up for debate, but PNC Bank has entered esports with a purpose. This is a great way to create brand awareness and affinity as long as initiatives are not perceived as pandering.

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MVP

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