Kia Motors has announced its first test drive in esports, as the main sponsor of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC).
Previously known as the European League of Legends Championship Series (EULCS), the LEC is the premier League of Legends tournament within Europe. As a part of the sponsorship Kia will be creating digital content throughout 2019, and be a prominent presence at stadium events across Europe.
A six video series will be produced with the Summer 2018 winners Fnatic, debuting on February 1st on both DBLTAP and Dexerto. Kia has also released a new film, called ‘Ready to Play’, featuring some well known esports casters and personalities such as Trevor ‘Quickshot’ Henry and Indiana ‘Froskurinn’ Black.
Yong-Won Cho, Senior Vice President & CMO at Kia Motors said: “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.”
Speaking to Esports Insider, Mike Murphy O’Reilly, Director of Esports at DBLTAP said: “We’re very excited to be working with Kia to help activate their sponsorship of the LEC by using our experience of working with global non-endemic brands to connect Kia directly with the thriving League of Legends fanbase in Europe. We look forward to working with Fnatic following their hugely successful 2018 campaign to help bring some truly original content in 5 languages across DBLTAP.com and our partner Dexerto”
Kia has sponsored major traditional sports competitions in the past as well, such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Australian Open. While sponsoring various clubs and other sporting events, this marks the company’s first foray into the competitive gaming space.
Alban Dechelotte, Head of Sponsorships and Business Development at Riot Games said: “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.”
The LEC was previously sponsored by companies like Acer Predator and DXRacer in their last season, however it was recently announced that Alienware would take over as their official PC and Displays partner for the year.
Esports Insider says: With a rebranding, Riot is set to start 2019 off strong with a group of major new sponsors. While they have courted big companies like Coke and American Express before, getting a new company interested in esports is a success, and could open new opportunities for others in the region. Great decision by Kia!