VADR partners with Livewire Group to unlock the world of chess to agencies and brands

VADR partners with Livewire Group to unlock the world of chess to agencies and brands

John McRae
Deal Flow

Gaming marketing and gametech company, Livewire has today announced a new partnership with Checkmate, an online competitive chess platform, which focuses on producing and broadcasting online tournaments for an estimated 700 million chess players around the world.

Livewire will act as part of Checkmate’s commercial arm to represent its online and broadcast assets to brands and agencies, and will enable Checkmate to leverage its proprietary game-tech stack to create programmatic in-game advertising and custom brand integration solutions.

Following pandemic lockdowns and the release of Netflix’s hit mini-series ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ (2020), the popularity of chess has increased significantly, particularly amongst females. Adding to the growth of traditional esports, its ability to conduct international competitions remotely without lag, creates a platform for brands to advertise to a highly engaged user base. Much like gaming, chess is popular with players in the 18-34 demographic, and is underpinned by a strong presence within schools due to its connection with STEM and recognition as a sport by the International Olympic Committee.

Livewire Co-Founders and Co-CEOs, Brad Manuel and Indy Khabra said: “The Livewire team is thrilled to partner with VADR Media and Checkmate. They have an established track record of bringing new media to market, from pay-per-view to esports, sports and esports governance and successfully driving audience growth. Checkmate’s platform and broadcast capability paired with Livewire's gametech offering and industry expertise will be a gamechanger for brands, adding to our already broad inventory offering.”

Checkmate is a new VADR Media initiative and a skills based platform that allows users to compete to win cash, credits, crypto and  in-kind rewards. It marks VADR Media’s second major play in the gaming and esports space, following on from its recent exit from Let’s Play Live [LPL], Australasia’s largest linear and online esports broadcaster and platform, which it founded in 2016.

VADR Managing Director, John McRae said: “LPL was a great stepping stone to Checkmate following on from our market first pay-per-view and linear sports and music events. We built the region's first dedicated direct-to-TV, and online esports broadcast studio and partnered with major networks and media outlets to grow esports in Australia and New Zealand. Combining Livewire’s and Checkmates' growing global footprint and our complementary expertise in esports and media tech makes it a winning partnership.”

Checkmate has recently announced its exclusive long-term partnerships with the Asian Chess Federation and Arab Esports Federation, which together cover 80 countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Oceania. These partnerships position Checkmate as their exclusive broadcast, data, online tournament and web3+ partner, providing stakeholders and partners the ability to plan long-term campaigns and community engagement rather than one-off events.

A key motivator for these parties has been Checkmate’s esports-first-web3 approach to chess for a new generation of players, made possible by its proprietary AI Gaze tracking anti-cheat solution and extensive integrity programme. This competitive and technical advantage was developed and secured prior to the recent explosive headlines and allegations about cheating in chess at the elite level.

Squadding up with Livewire provides expands provides agencies and brands local market support in Australia and New Zealand, Asia, DACH markets (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), GCC, Middle East, North America, UK and India.

VADR Media is represented by Fenway Sports Management in the US through it's Livewire partnership.

For more information on Livewire or to discuss partnering with Checkmate, visit

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