Riot Games announced today that it will implement in-game branding opportunities for League of Legends esports brand partners during official broadcasts.
The opportunities will come in the form of in-game arena banners on the Summoner’s Rift map, which can be outfitted with the branding from the game’s esports sponsors.
Naz Aletaha, Head of Global Esports Partnerships at Riot Games, commented in a release: “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.”
The banners will begin to roll out across all official League of Legends esports leagues beginning with the upcoming Summer Split through the season-ending World Championship. Players will continue to see the standard in-game banners while competing in league matches, but broadcast viewers will see the real-world branding.
Riot Games has more than 50 brand partners across all of its regional leagues. Global partners Mastercard and Alienware have already been confirmed for the in-game banners, with the Mastercard branding demonstrated in the image above.
Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Mastercard, added: “Traditional marketing is evolving with more innovative ways to reach consumers. 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.”
Riot Games worked with Neilsen while developing the banners, and the media measurement and data analytics company “valued the in-game banner displays as some the most valuable media assets within the League of Legends esports portfolio,” according to a release.
Esports Insider says: This is a clever way to further integrate brand sponsors within the League of Legends esports ecosystem, especially at a time in which live events are off the table.