Nike and TJ Sports sign four-year partnership deal for LPL

Nike China and the Chinese League of Legends Pro League (LPL) have today announced a four-year partnership that will see Nike become the official and exclusive apparel and footwear partner of the LPL running through till 2022.

As part of the deal, Nike will provide apparel and footwear for all 16 LPL teams – Nike also hopes to use its expertise in sports science to explore new ways to serve esports athletes through new training programs. LPL teams will also be equipped with new Nike team jerseys, whilst LPL fans will be able to purchase a new range of lifestyle apparel and footwear.

The LPL is one of the leading leagues in professional League of Legends, the league is home to current world champions Invictus Gaming – who defeated European first seed Fnatic in a 3-0 final back in November in South Korea.

Eric Wei, Vice President, Category Marketing at Nike in Greater China, had this to say: “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. 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.”

The LPL is managed and operated by TJ Sports, a joint venture between Riot Games and Tencent.

Bobby Jin, Co-CEO, TJ Sports, added: “Our unprecedented partnership with Nike will enable LPL teams and players to continue to shine on the world stage. Esports is a digital sport, and collaboration with Nike will push it to new heights. The partnership with Nike can bring more professional and scientific services to esports athletes. It also lets esports, the digital sport, to be more integrated into public life in a dimensional and in-depth way.”

Esports Insider says: Nike is one of the leaders in traditional sports, it was only a matter of time before the brand started to break into esports in a major way. The LPL is a logical partnership as it’s not only one of the top leagues in League of Legends but LoL itself is arguably one of the most important games in esports. The four-year length to the deal also shows Nike has a commitment to the league going forward.