Cloud9 Enters New Partnership With the United States Air Force - Dexerto
Business

Cloud9 Enters New Partnership With the United States Air Force

Published: 20/Jul/2018 15:06 Updated: 15/Oct/2020 15:28

by Ross Deason

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Cloud9 has announced a new partnership between its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team and the United States Air Force.

The new sponsorship will feature content where the team travels to various Air Force bases around the country as well as follow the players’ journey at ELEAGUE Premier 2018.

Jack Etienne, the CEO of Cloud9, hopes that the project will raise awareness of the U.S. Air Force’s work among Cloud9’s fan base and states that it will give the organization the chance to deliver amazing new content.

“Cloud9 is proud to create awareness of the Air Force for our amazing fan base,

“By developing a dynamic partnership with the Air Force, we will be able to deliver extraordinary content that will show fans a totally different side of the team.”

Major Ross McKnight, Chief of National Events Branch at the Air Force Recruiting Service Headquarters, added:

“We are very excited to partner with Cloud9’s stellar CS:GO players, who display the same level of discipline, rigor and achievement that we value in our Airmen. The partnership will provide an opportunity to create engaging and relevant content in the esports space and to show Cloud9 fans some of the ways in which they can make a difference in the U.S. Air Force.”

This isn’t the only major partnership for the U.S. Air Force in esports. ELEAGUE announced on July 19 that it has expanded its partnership with the aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces.

The new deal will see the U.S. Air Force sponsor a number of ELEAGUE events, including ELEAGUE CS:GO Premier from July 19 – 29.

Seth Ladetsky, Senior Vice President of Sales for Turner Sports, said:

“ELEAGUE goes to great lengths to bring on partners that have a natural connection to our fans and that understand that the esports community highly values authentic voices. The Air Force gets it and is a perfect fit; we are excited to be working with them in a deeper way and providing them a platform to articulate how they support the men and women of our country in their time of service.”

Business

Activision under fire for calling minority hiring requirement “unworkable”

Published: 28/Jan/2021 1:27

by Theo Salaun

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Activision Blizzard have begun receiving backlash across social media for rebutting a “Rooney Rule” diversity hiring proposal by suggesting it would ruin their chances to remain competitive in the gaming industry.

The “Rooney Rule,” a 2003 program implemented by the National Football League, requires that teams must interview at least one non-white person when hiring a coach. In years since, that has extended to provide opportunities for women and for positions outside of head coach.

Now, the largest American union conglomerate, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), has proposed a similar program to gaming giants Activision and Electronic Arts.

While EA have suggested interest while remaining noncommittal, Activision’s legal team has already shot down the initiative. Suggesting that implementation would slow their business down at a detriment to competitiveness, Activision appears unwilling to adopt the program and their response has sparked backlash.

Vice’s Lauren Kaori Gurley and Patrick Klepek sourced details from AFL-CIO’s proposal and Activision’s response for an investigative piece that reveals why the company is so resistant. The suggested program would follow the Rooney Rule by implementing a policy that necessitates the interviewing of minority candidates (non-white and non-male) for open positions.

In response, a spokesperson claimed that “talent is the lifeblood of Activision Blizzard,” that the company’s diverse employees reflect a global audience and that the company has numerous programs to promote diversity (e.g. “scholarship programs … and the Equal Justice Initiative”).

Nonetheless, the company’s legal team more specifically responded to the proposal by stating that the Rooney Rule already exists for executive hires, but “implementing a policy that would extend such an approach to all hiring decisions amounts to an unworkable encroachment on the Company’s ability to run its business and compete for talent in a highly competitive, fast-moving market.”

Community feedback to that statement has been negative.

twitter activision backlash

While some replies have centered around words like “horrific” and “yikes,” others have delved deeper by bringing up census data and industry examples. As mentioned by ‘MagusFirebeard,’ Santa Monica (where Activision is headquartered) has a sizable non-white population, suggesting that a pool of candidates is accessible.  

Further, ‘ImpossibleScott’ brought up Facebook’s 2015 agreement to a similar policy. This echoes Vice’s mentions of J.P. Morgan and Bank of America, who each agreed to AFL-CIO diversity hiring proposals earlier this month. 

It remains to be seen if this social media backlash will affect Activision Blizzard’s resistance to the diversity hiring proposal, but things may shift as the company moves deeper into 2021.