An industry-first, 10-year strategic alliance between K11 and Asia’s leading mobile esports brand Hero Entertainment was announced today at the Shanghai K11 Art Mall. The partnership sees K11 becoming the exclusive industry partner of Hero Entertainment, and bringing its Hero Pro League (HPL), one of Asia’s largest mobile esports leagues, and other animation, comic, game and novel (ACGN) franchises, to K11 projects in at least nine cities – Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Wuhan, Ningbo, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In addition, K11 and Hero Entertainment plan to jointly build world-class mobile esports stadiums in at least seven cities to support the development of esports. With today’s announcement, K11 embarks on a new era of experiential retailing fit for millennials and Gen Z, in which commerce and the latest technological trends are seamlessly combined.
Cultural Entrepreneur and K11 Founder Adrian Cheng said, “The booming esports sector is fast becoming the next big growth market, and is a cultural event popular among the new generation. Since being officially named by China’s General Administration of Sports as the country’s 99th sporting event, esports has in the past 15 years grown in an unprecedented pace in China. As a leading force in forging cross-cultural exchanges, K11 is thrilled to partner with Hero Entertainment, staying true to the Collect, Connect, Collide motto and is excited to be supporting the development of esports in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Moving forward, K11 will create a unique ecosystem that combines art, technology and commerce, while continuing its effort in innovating and promoting cross-cultural exchanges in its physical and online spaces.”
Following today’s signing, K11 and Hero Entertainment, the second largest mobile esports operator in China with over 400 million registered users, plan to jointly create the largest network of 2D esports-themed spaces in K11 projects in at least nine cities: Hong Kong, Beijing, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Wuhan, Ningbo, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In particular, it is in the long-term planning of K11 Hong Kong, as an industry leader, to offer pop-up VR experience spaces and esports zones for the live broadcast of competitions. The partnership makes K11 Hong Kong the leading mobile gaming venue to play host to large-scale, international esports competitions in the future, while it doubles as a cross-cultural platform for esports athletes and coaches, and to support the growth of esports in Hong Kong.
Other highlighted plans in the strategic alliance feature official esports stadiums at K11 projects in Mainland China for professional and casual gamers. The largest of them will be in Shenyang, where K11 is building its biggest project to date. When completed, the New World Expo in K11 Shenyang will be able to host the championship matches of HPL tournaments in Mainland China, and become a leading official venue for esports competitions in the region.
Hero Entertainment Chairman Dino Ying said, “Since our inception, Hero Entertainment has been looking for the right partner that could provide physical venues for the development of esports competitions. Thanks to Adrian Cheng and his museum-retail concept K11, our dream becomes reality today. Together with K11, we look forward to bringing this strategic partnership to life. City by city, project by project, K11 and Hero Entertainment will jointly promote the development of esports in China, taking the industry to new heights.”
As video-gaming and ACGN are swiftly becoming engrained in the daily lives of the masses, esports activities around the world are now attracting audiences in the tens of millions; it is also set to be a USD1.5 billion industry by 2020, according to market intelligence company Newzoo. Hero Entertainment is the second largest mobile esports operator in China, and is a pioneer in bringing virtual reality experiences to the realm of esports. Its innovative model resonates strongly with K11, world’s first museum-retail concept. Since 2009, Cheng has been restlessly promoting cross-cultural dialogues, and shaping the retail landscape by combining art and commerce, both online and offline. In partnering with Hero Entertainment, K11 continues to lead the industry and is incorporating esports and virtual reality technologies into its expanding cross-cultural ecosystem.
Today’s partnership firmly establishes K11 as the new cultural landmark for esports fans, gamers and athletes, as it vows to provide more spaces in the future for pre-tournament training and official competitions in Hong Kong and Mainland China for 2022 Asian Games and beyond.
K11 is the world’s first Museum-Retail concept and a hybrid model of art and commerce founded by Adrian Cheng in 2008. The flagship K11 in Hong Kong and Shanghai were launched in December 2009 and June 2013 respectively, and have since curated dozens of cross-cultural events, from art and design to green-fashion and technology, to bring art, culture and artisanal lifestyle closer to the public.
The unique K11 ecosystem blends three core values – Art, People, Nature – to celebrate their interconnection. And by pioneering a unique zoning system for experiential journeys within its spaces, K11 completely revolutionises the retail landscape. Highlights include the K11 Design Store and K11 Art Store by Kuriosity, which is a true O2O platform of curated items by independent Chinese and international designers. K11 is therefore not only a retail space, but a cultural destination that offers an inspiring journey of imagination.
Through forging cross-cultural dialogues, K11 will continue to promote art appreciation and bring art and culture closer to the masses in the future. By 2023, K11 will have expanded its reach to nine cities in China, including Beijing, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Wuhan, Ningbo, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, further establishing itself as an industry leader.
About Hero Entertainment
The NEEQ-listed Hero Entertainment is mainly engaged in the development and management of esports game products as well as organizing and promoting mobile esports competitions. The firm, a leading mobile game developer, distributor and publisher in China, with a footprint that includes mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Southeast Asia, has developed and distributed several popular mobile games. Hero Entertainment won the Most Influential Distributor of 2015 Jinling Award.
With a focus on further expanding into the mobile esports game market, Hero Entertainment is not only the organiser of Hero Pro League (HPL), one of the most popular mobile eSports tournaments in China, but also the sponsor of the Ying Xiong Lian Meng or Heroes Alliance, a China-wide mobile esports games association, the largest of its kind in the country.