Canon Canada the official streamer for OverActive Media

The iconic camera manufacturer also plans for social integrations, signage, naming rights and content creation to profile e-sports gamers.

Canon Canada has signed a multi-year deal with e-sports company OverActive Media making it the organization’s official streaming partner.

As the official camera of the Overwatch League e-sports team, the Toronto Defiant, Canon will integrate with social, photography contests, brand player jerseys and create a player profile series, Behind the Lens. Bringing e-sports to audiences is a natural extension for Canon, whose cameras deliver the Blue Jays, Leafs and Raptors action to fans.

Justin Lam, SVP and general manager of imaging, technologies, communications group at Canon Canada, says the company is still learning about the e-sports demographic, but early insight shows it is a wide range, beyond just millennial males. “I don’t want to stereotype it,” he says, because as the sport further penetrates mainstream audiences, the target is evolving.

Long considered a top contender in imaging equipment, Canon has been looking for new territories where its products make sense, says Lam. Aligning with a startup like OAM makes sense, he continues, because it is a company also looking to broaden its knowledge and experience.

“In today’s space, our industry has transitioned into more content creation,” says Lam, who considers e-sports gamers – many of whom self-broadcast on Twitch – content creators. “I think there is a role as a manufacturer for us to play, much like we did in the YouTube world,” he explains.

Some details like the potential for product integration are still in development, but Lam calls the initial rollout “the bones of the agreement” that at its core is about flexibility. Over time, Lam anticipates e-sports players emerging with their own brands and Canon “wants to get in on the ground floor” of what he says could have a “big mushrooming effect.”

E-sports is emerging rapidly – according to Vivintel, e-sports reaching an estimated 4.4 million Canadians – and both companies want to position themselves with others that complement individual efforts, he says. As OAM digs into its live events arm, Canon will be the naming rights holder to the 2020 “Defiant Stream Zone” and says Lam, “Eventually there will be a Toronto stadium, so there is also a broadcast opportunity.”

Canon worked directly with OAM.