Under the deal, Quest will help to support 75 students at Robert Morris University who compete in games including League of Legends, Counter Strike, DOTA 2, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm.
Robert Morris University eSports claims to be the first collegiate program to offer scholarships to their student-athletes.
Achievements by the university’s Eagles eSports team include finishing second place in the University League of Legends competition during the 2015-2016 school year.
Quest Nutrition first entered the eSports field in 2014 with its sponsorship of Team Liquid.
'Milliseconds mean the difference'
“In a sport where milliseconds mean the difference between winning and losing, what you eat is vitally important,” said Quest Nutrition chief marketing officer Nick Robinson.
The university said one of its objectives for this year is to promote the importance of health and fitness in eSports, and Quest will be providing RMU’s eSports athletes with nutritional advice and Quest products.
California-based Quest sells its products in more than 90 countries and is one of America’s fastest-growing snack bar brands.
The brand’s US retail sales soared 82.2% year on year in the first half of 2016 to just over $100m [IRI YTD July 10 2016] in a nutritional/health bars category up 5.3% year on year. (See table below)
ESports attracting major brands
Food and drink brands that have been attracted to the opportunity of eSports sponsorship have included Doritos, Coca-Cola and Red Bull.
Esports can attract big audiences online, with League of Legends publisher Riot Games reporting that its 2016 Mid-Season Invitational had more than six million viewers tuned in concurrently, with an average of 2.3 million viewers watching simultaneously across the eight days.