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.”



5 thoughts on “League of Legends aims for more big corporate sponsors

  1. Thank you for the post! I’m writing something similar about how eSports is getting much more attention, its helped me formulate some thoughts of my own.

  2. I have this theory that Riot is trying to position themselves to enter the mainstream conscience/awareness because they are acting same way as a person just before announcing their interest in running for an important office in the next election.

    They are rallying up their base (the tournament and that Teamwork OP campaign), they are creating more content to prove their depth (the introduction at analysis desk and bringing on professional gamers who gives their opinions on the next match) and as you mentioned Riot is branching out by exploring new possibilities to get more people beyond their base (getting sponsorship from non traditional gaming companies I.E Coke and American Express),

    This is the stuff I’ve seen all the time in politics up in NH, my current theory is that Riot is trying to prepare themselves to tackle the silver screen, something like teaming up with one of ESPN channels for their own time slot.

    But that’s just me, what do you think it means for Riot’s future plans now that they are teaming up with American Express and Coca-cola?

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