Kia joins as newest League of Legends European Championship Sponsor
Companies that have nothing at all to do with gaming or esports sponsoring games, events, teams or players isn’t exactly anything new these days, but it’s always precious when a particularly big or well-known company joins the fray – that’s what just happened.
This isn’t just a minor deal either – Kia has just become a major partner to the LoL EC. This is the car company’s first foray into esports, and that makes it all the more exceptional – instead of dipping their proverbial toes in, the company went straight for a major deal.
While this IS the company’s first step into the world of esports, it’s not their first big marketing effort – it’s part of an ongoing campaign, actually, one aiming to make their brand appeal to younger audiences.
Since they are now the main sponsor of the tournament, Kia even went so far as to launch a new film called ‘Ready to Play’ – a collaboration with some of the LoL EC’s most popular commentators. It’s quite the list – the film has Trevor ‘Quickshot’ Henry gain a whole team of his colleagues in a Kia Stinger.
Romain Bigeard, Indiana ‘Froskurinn’ Black, Daniel ‘Drakos’ Drakos, Aaron ‘Medic’ Chamberlain, and Andrew ‘Vedius’ Day all join Trevor on his way… to the LoL EC. This is only the first piece of many – Kia will also be creating new content throughout the coming year, so you can look forward to more players, casters… and cars, of course. It wouldn’t be much of a partnership without those.
“Kia is already well-known for its sports sponsorships, and this partnership represents another marketing innovation from the brand. In parallel with our ties to more traditional sports this esports sponsorship will demonstrate how Kia supports the lives and lifestyles of a younger generation of digital natives. Our inaugural film, featuring some of the most well-known League of Legends casters, celebrates the start of a new and exciting era for Kia Motors and esports, and we are excited to become a main partner to the League of Legends European Championship in 2019,” said Yong Won Cho, CMO at Kia Motors.
The response from Riot Games, the makers of League of Legends was no less enthusiastic about the partnership: “We are excited to partner with Kia and join a prestigious list of events and sports brands as we enter a new era for the League of Legends European Championship, which is the leading esport league in Europe. We look forward to working together with Kia to provide an experience that money can’t buy for all League of Legends players across Europe,” said Alban Dechelotte, Head of Sponsorships and Business Development at Riot Games EU.
Naturally, the move from Kia has gained quite a bit of attention – not only is the car company a major international name, but their decision to partner with one of the biggest esports tournaments in the biggest esport out there makes this whole thing almost as high profile as the deal between Disney and Overwatch late last year.