Mastercard on board as official partner of Tour

With just days to go before the Tour Finals start, a huge deal for chess is announced
Mastercard partners with the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour

Magnus Carlsen has been named a Mastercard Global Brand Ambassador putting him in all-star line-up which includes Lionel Messi, Naomi Osaka, Crystal Dunn and Dan Carter.

The World Chess Champion and highest-rated player of all-time is part of a new relationship that sees the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour become an official partner of Mastercard.

Mastercard said Carlsen is a natural fit to join its impressive roster of ambassadors. Over the past decade, Mastercard has developed one of the most well-rounded sports and entertainment portfolios globally.

Magnus Carlsen

In 2018, Mastercard became the first global sponsor of League of Legends Esports in a multi-year partnership with Riot Games, signifying Mastercard’s support of the esports community.

The sponsorship portfolio also includes partnerships across arts and culture, the culinary world, sports and music.

Carlsen said: “Expanding the influence of the game of chess has always been close to my heart. To have Mastercard, which brings people and their passions together in meaningful ways, partner with the Tour is very exciting.

Expanding the influence of the game of chess has always been close to my heart. To have Mastercard, which brings people and their passions together in meaningful ways, partner with the Tour is very exciting.

“Chess has given me so many priceless experiences over the years, and I’m proud to join Mastercard to bring the sport forward to millions of fans around the world.”

From an initial boom on Twitch and streaming platforms to the Netflix series “The Queen’s Gambit,” chess has grown and evolved significantly over the last 18 months.

Online tournaments have also brought the popularity of chess to new heights.

More than 27 million hours of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour have been watched so far in its inaugural season, already more than all hours watched of chess on Twitch in 2019 with the Tour Finals still remaining.

Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard said: “Mastercard loves connecting people with their passions.

“Teaming up with Magnus, widely regarded as the best chess player of all time, and the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour underscores our enthusiastic commitment to provide cardholders with Priceless Experiences that celebrate the physical and mental sport of chess.

“We’re excited to bring the global chess base closer to the game they love and to engage with new enthusiasts.”

Andreas Thome, CEO of Play Magnus Group, added: “Having one of the most established brands in the sports world partner with us is an incredible moment not only for Magnus and the Tour, but for the global chess community.

“With the Tour we are proud that we have been able to build a platform for global brands like Mastercard to activate with chess.”

Together with Carlsen and the Tour, Mastercard is curating a wide range of Priceless experiences and exclusive cardholder benefits, via and upcoming promotions to help fans experience what they love about chess.

Starting today, cardholders can register on a first come first served basis for the Chess Insights from World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen Experience on October 22.

Fans will get to join Carlsen during a live, virtual experience, and listen to him speak about his passion for chess, with Carlsen answering select questions from the live audience throughout the digital experience. Those who attend the experience will also receive a one-month premium subscription to

Through this partnership, Mastercard will also create a chess-themed curriculum for its signature science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program, Girls4Tech™, continuing the brand’s commitment to promote gender equity and foster a future generation of female chess players.  

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