Riot Games has unveiled plans to introduce sponsor banners to its esports events.
Much like in traditional sports, the new branding will help deliver brand exposure for sponsors in the same way that brands get from advertising hoardings at football games. This new branding will be first shown during the upcoming Summer Split. It will be referred to as “Summoner’s Rift arena branding”.
The first partners to take advantage of the new feature will be Mastercard and Alienware, the former has also worked heavily with Riot Games on the upcoming Mid-Season Streamathon. Riot Games has also opened up the feature to the 12 regional leagues to use different sponsors for its local events. The company also made note that the advertising will only appear to viewers, and will not be seen by players — Riot worked with Nielsen to help evaluate the in-game branding.
In-Game Esports Branding
Riot Games Head of Global Esports Partnerships Naz Aletaha, commented on the announcement:
“From our live events, to our online broadcasts, we strive to define modern sports by continuously innovating how audiences experience League of Legends. For the first time in League history, SR Arena Banners put our partners’ brands directly on the field of play, creating an immersive experience that echoes the energy found in major sports arenas.”
Mastercard has been a notable partner of League of Legends, starting in 2018 at the World Championship in South Korea, and the partnership has only grown since. Below is an example of the level of involvement as Mastercard became the presenting partner of the World’s Opening Ceremony.
Mastercard Chief Marketing & Communications Officer Raja Rajamanna, had this to add to the announcement:
“Mastercard was the first global partner of League of Legends Esports because it connects with so many people around the world who are passionate about the game. This evolution continues to help us reach fans in contextually relevant ways, where they are doing the things they love most.”
Images via Riot Games.