Honda has announced a significant new partnership with Riot Games League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). As the exclusive automotive sponsor of LCS, the preeminent esports league in North America, Honda grows their presence in esports by building on the brand’s existing partnership with gaming powerhouse and three-time LCS champion Team Liquid, and streaming platform Twitch, which began in January 2019. With their latest move, Honda becomes the first automaker in North America to sponsor both a preeminent esports league (LCS) and team competing in it (Team Liquid).
The new partnership with LCS will launch in conjunction with the Summer Split Playoffs, which begin in Los Angeles on Saturday, Aug. 10, and the Finals, which will take place in Detroit, Michigan on Aug. 24-25. Outside of playoff and finals coverage, Honda and Riot’s partnership elements include sponsorship of the League MVP, the LCS Scouting Grounds (the premiere tournament for up and coming League of Legends players), access to scarce advertising inventory live on LCS game days, and custom content highlighting the imagination and determination of the League’s top athletes.
Riot Games has been a dominant figure in North American and global esports since its release of the worldwide game League of Legends in 2009. Over the last four years, League of Legends has ranked as the #1 esport in terms of viewership in North America, with 1.1M average daily unique viewers and 26M total hours watched during the LCS 2018 full season. Honda is no stranger to professional League of Legends, following their sponsorship of Team Liquid, the defending champions and current #1-ranked team in the LCS, at the beginning of this year. Since then, Team Liquid has celebrated two successful splits and won the Spring Split Finals in addition to major achievements in other esports.
In addition, Honda will feature top talent from Team Liquid in creative marketing throughout the LCS broadcasts via the new partnership. Four new 15-second videos inspire viewers to “find their drive” and stay determined by showcasing a member of Team Liquid battling their inner monologue by choosing to drive forward toward success. The four videos feature Doublelift, Hungrybox, Vivid, and CEO Steve Arhancet in custom-wrapped 2019 Honda Civics. Capitalizing on where younger audiences are spending much of their time, the videos will run on Twitch, YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and within Honda’s League of Legends LCS sponsorship. Honda will help produce similar creative featuring LCS top-tier talent as the collaboration progresses.
“Through this partnership with the LCS, Honda will continue to forge a strong connection with the next-generation of car buyers who happen to be fans of the incredible athletes of Team Liquid and the League of Legends Championship Series in North America,” said Phil Hruska, Manager of Media Strategy at American Honda. “We understand the passion of esports fans and how strongly they support the gaming community, and Honda is fully vested in creating one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experiences for gamers as we launch the next phase of Honda’s endeavor in esports and gaming.”
“Honda is one of the most storied and trusted car manufacturers in the world, and we are proud to announce an exclusive partnership between the League of Legends Championship Series and an automotive brand of this caliber,” said Matthew Archambault, Head of Esports Partnerships and Business Development for North America at Riot Games. “Honda’s commitment to esports is clear from their history in the space, including their sponsorship of Team Liquid, and we’re excited to show LCS fans the new initiatives and content that we’ll be collaborating on, starting with the Summer Split Playoffs this weekend in our LA studio.”
Honda, Gaming and Engaging Younger Audiences
Honda entered the esports and video gaming space in 2014, and since then, Honda has partnered with some of the most storied gaming franchises across various platforms. These partnerships include in-game integrations in Forza, R vs. R with Xbox, and a presenting sponsorship of EA’s first NHL World Championship. Most recently, Honda has built a successful partnership with Team Liquid, one of the most recognizable esports teams in the world and has invested deeply in streaming platform Twitch to build the Honda Head 2 Head program. With 15+ million average daily visitors on Twitch, Honda recognizes that younger audiences are moving to platforms like Twitch for live viewership.
Honda is the official automotive sponsor of Team Liquid and official vehicle of the team, and now the official automotive partner of the League of Legends Championship Series in North America. The Honda Civic is the number one most purchased vehicle with millennial and Gen Z buyers. And the number one sold vehicle to first-time new vehicle buyers, followed by Accord #2 (across the industry). Civic has been the top-selling vehicle to millennials since 2011.
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Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles with advanced safety technologies sold through over 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Fit, Civic, Insight, Accord and Clarity series passenger cars, along with the HR-V, CR-V, Passport and Pilot sport utility vehicles, the Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan.
Honda has been producing automobiles in America for more than 35 years and currently operates 19 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2018, more than 90 percent of all Honda brand vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) is the professional League of Legends esports league in North America. League of Legends is the most watched esport in the world with 13 international leagues worldwide. LCS is overseen and operated by Riot Games under the leadership of Chris “Chopper” Hopper, Head of Esports for North America and Chris Greeley, LCS Commissioner. To learn more about the LCS, visit lolesports.com
(Image) Source: Press release