The NBA 2K League announced today a partnership with Panera Bread ahead of the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft, which will be held Saturday, February 22 at 6 p.m. ET at Terminal 5 in New York City and livestreamed on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels. The partnership marks Panera Bread’s first with a professional esports league and the NBA 2K League’s first with a restaurant partner.
All 23 NBA 2K League teams, including expansion teams Hornets Venom GT and the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, will complete their six-person roster at the four-round draft. Fans can register to attend the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft delivered by Panera Bread by visiting NBA2KLeague.com. Several surprise guests will announce select picks and provide guest commentary.
As part of the partnership, Panera Bread will deliver food to NBA 2K League hosts, broadcasters and players during live broadcasts. Fans can join in on the action and get Panera Bread delivered directly to their home via Panerabread.com or the Panera Bread app.
Each week during the season on the league’s livestream and social media channels, the NBA 2K League will present “Rookies Who Deliver Presented by Panera Bread.” The series will tell the stories of the 2020 NBA 2K League rookie class on and off the virtual court while highlighting standout rookie performances throughout the season.
“As we approach our third season and the NBA 2K League continues to grow, we are excited to partner with a world-class brand like Panera Bread,” said NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue. “We are going to have an incredibly talented rookie class and look forward to working with Panera to share their amazing stories as they make their mark on the league, beginning on draft day 2020.”
“At Panera, we believe you shouldn’t need to compromise between good and good-for-you when it comes to delivery options,” said Beth Ringer, Vice President, Media Strategy, Panera Bread. “With gaming being a popular activity for our customers, in partnership with our agency, Connect at Publicis, we jumped at the opportunity to partner with the NBA 2K League and enter into the esports space with such an established partner.”
Wizards District Gaming will have the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft delivered by Panera Bread, as determined by the NBA 2K League Draft Lottery that took place in October. Knicks Gaming will have the second overall pick, and Hawks Talon GC will have the third overall pick. For the complete 2020 NBA 2K League Draft order, click here.
With the addition of the two expansion teams, 138 players will compete in the 2020 NBA 2K League season. Once again there will be more draft-eligible players than spots available in the league. During the offseason, 70 players who competed in the 2019 season were retained, leaving 68 roster spots available.
The draft-eligible player pool will consist of new players who were selected by the league following an extensive tryout process, players from the league’s first European Invitational, second Asia-Pacific (APAC) Invitational and 11 team-hosted Pro-Am tournaments, and unretained players from the 2019 season. The complete list of draft-eligible players will be announced prior to the draft.