League of Legends: Riot Games announce NIKE China as LPL Sponsor

LPL & Nike Partnership - Riot Games
LPL & Nike Partnership - Riot Games /
Uzi of the LPL's RNG - League of Legends
Uzi – RNG – Riot Games /

This morning Riot dropped an absolute bombshell upon League of Legends fans with an announcement of a massive 4-year sponsorship deal with NIKE China for the LPL!

This sponsorship follows a similar major deal in Europe with Shell being announced as the official partner of the LEC, as well as their smaller (yet still significant) deal with Korean car company KIA. The LPL really stood out last year as a region to be reckoned with on the international stage and with their dark horse team Invictus Gaming becoming World Champions, the LPL have shown the kind of global excellence that Nike is renowned for the world over.

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"Starting this year, Nike will provide apparel and footwear for all 16 teams of the LPL. As part of the agreement, Nike will continue to explore new ways to serve esport athletes through research and customized physical training programs. LPL athletes will be equipped with an all-new team kit ahead of the 2019 World Championships. LPL fans also will be able to get in on the action with a full range of new fan gear."

The difference however between the LEC’s car sponsorships and this Nike sponsorship for the LPL is very much in what the announcement implies – it’s all well and good to have shiny cars in your commercials to show off status and your high production value but now we have a sponsorship within the scene that validates what we in the League of Legends esports community have been harping on for the past 3/4 years.

Esports are real sports that require just as much skill as your soccer, your American football, your basketball. This brand sponsorship with Nike also firmly plants League of Legends at the forefront of that argument. We are the kings of the Esports world, and we are here to stay for decades to come.

"“Esports athletes share the same determination and competitive spirit as all athletes, they spend their lives preparing for intense competition, working relentlessly to improve their reflexes, coordination, vision, mentality and teamwork,” says Eric Wei, Vice President of Category Marketing at Nike in Greater China. “We are very excited to support LPL teams and players with ground-breaking esports game-day gear and training programs that will help unleash their full potential.”"

Sponsorships like this one with Nike is just the beginning, compound that with the absolutely ludicrous viewing figures that 2018’s World Championships raked in – at its peak over 200 million viewers – and you can see that League of Legends along with the rest of the esports world is on an upward trajectory, that isn’t going to slow down any time soon.

Read the full story on Riot’s article on the League of Legends Nexus.

Take a look to NA - LCS Week 5 Power Rankings. dark. Next

How hyped are you to see the LPL’s fresh creps? What other brands would you love to see sponsor different League of Legends regional leagues across the world? Let us know in the comments!