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League of Legends aims for more big corporate sponsors

Riot hopes to pave the way for companies to sponsor eSports just as much as regular sporting events

The third season of The League of Legends World Championship recently concluded, and the online game remains as popular as ever. In fact, it's now the number one game in China, and the growth of the title is clearly helping to fuel the maturation of eSports as a whole. Riot Games has managed to attract significant corporate sponsors like American Express, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Nissan and others, and it's a trend that Riot execs have every intention of continuing.

"I think over time the eSports ecosystem is going to evolve its economics. Part of the reason we've been focused on bringing some giant sponsors into the mix, such as the recent Coke announcement and American Express, is to help pave the way for a broader ecosystem of companies to get involved in eSports the same way they do in other sports," Brandon Beck, Riot CEO, told the [a]list daily.

The eSports phenomenon is fairly new to those in advertising, but big companies are learning fast and they want to get a piece of the gaming audience. "The Coke sponsorship is really cool," Beck continued. "They came to us and they said 'We're interested in contributing to the ecosystem, and we don't want to do a typical media buy or anything like that. How can we put our dollars to work to help the sport and the community around the sport?' And we said 'We've got this Challenger league that we're working.' They contributed their own set of ideas. They talked about an Olympic-style training facility and the teams brainstormed and Coke contributed a bunch of really great ideas. We also think that their involvement is going to help convince other sponsors."

Read more about the continued growth of League of Legends and eSports in the full article at our sister site the [a]list daily.

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Latest comments (2)

Chris Murphy Community & Live Manager, Ubisoft3 years ago
It's extremely encouraging to see more "lifestyle" and traditional sponsors coming into competitive gaming/eSport. My only concern is that while LoL can probably handle this due to Riot's carefully planned organization and execution, I'm slightly concerned that other sponsors will try to jump on the bandwagon with other titles before the infrastructure for the proper RoI is really in place. We've seen it happen before in eSports, and I REALLY don't want to see that happen again.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
@Chris: Oh, it'll happen again. Try and stop the advertisers who want in and faster than properly planned for. Gotta make that money while the trend is hot, hot, hot, correct?
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