Mercedes Becomes Global Partner for League of Legends Worlds 2020
Mercedes-Benz and Riot have announced that the automaker has upped their sponsorship level from just the LPL to the world stage for League of Legends esports, beginning with Worlds 2020. The company will sponsor Worlds, the Mid-Season Invitational, and the All-Stars event.
This is said to be a multiyear deal including branded content, transportation at major events, and more. Mercedes will also be the first presenting partner of the trophy ceremony at Riot’s major events, where they will “help to honor the best of the best in League of Legends.”
Mercedes Will Have in-Game Branded Items
As part of the news, Riot unveiled how global partners, such as Mercedes, will be represented on Summoner’s Rift during Worlds 2020. Much like the basketball, hockey, and other traditional sports arenas of the world, Summoners Rift will now be adorned with the logos of their sponsors. These are being done on banners placed strategically around the Rift’s busiest places, from lane banners to banners around the Baron pit.
These banners are perhaps a bit more intrusive than some of esports’ other efforts to monetize their in-game playing fields, such as in Street Fighter, where they are worked into the background of matches. However, Riot seemed excited to unveil them as a sign of the times and of the advancement and maturity of their esport – something they are touting as the future of sports altogether and not just esports.
Mercedes Breaks Down Why They Became a Global Partner
Mercedes was on hand for the League of Legends Worlds 2020 media preview to talk more about the sponsorship, which Esports Talk attended and transcribed below.
Riot: Why did you decide to become a global partner for League of Legends esports?
Bettina Fetzer, VP of Marketing at Mercedes: Esports is truly a global phenomenon. You have millions of people playing League of Legends on a daily basis. We have been engaged with League of Legends on a regional level over the last few years, but we really felt it was time to take that to the next level to really engage with a broader audience and support that community that we’ve come to call family.
Riot: What do you think makes Mercedes and LoL esports a strong match?
Fetzer: Mercedes is as you know a luxury automotive brand. Yes, we focus on cars and automotive, but we’ve also been operating as a luxury brand for over 130 years. We have touchpoints in colleges, arts, sports, and more. And whenever we touch those people, we want to inspire them and bring them closer to our brand. We have a lot of inspirations planned for League of Legends fans.
Naz Aletaha, Head of Global Esports Partnerships, Riot Games: For us there’s a lot of reasons. Mercedes’ promise of excellence – that’s very squared up with our vision for LoL esports. That makes them an ideal partner to help us elevate the biggest moments throughout our season. We’ve actually been very selective about which sponsors to attach to those moments throughout our sport. When you think about it, a trophy ceremony, you celebrate the accomplishments of athletes, the epicness of those moments. Those are some of the most remembered scenes across all of sports. Whether that’s a gold medal at the Olympics, a Grand Slam trophy, or in our case, the Summoner’s Cup. Hosting the cup at the World finals is the most prestigious moment in our season, and that winning team deserves to be honored and recognized. So having a brand that’s aspirational and iconic like Mercedes attached will really help elevate that moment.
What will this mean for League of Legends esports?
Naz Aletaha, Head of Global Esports Partnerships, Riot Games: We really look for partners that can enhance our fans’ experience and propel the sport to new heights. You will see Mercedes do that over the course of the next few years, in addition to being a global leader in their industry, they’ve been supporting of some of the most prestigious sporting events. From the Masters, to the US Open, to Formula One – we are very proud to be in such great company and to have Mercedes contribute their expertise to elevating our sport.
How has Mercedes benefitted from their involvement in esports and the LPL?
Fetzer: I can only confirm what Naz has been saying. The connection to the players worldwide in League of Legends is of immense value to our brand. When you look at the people who play League of Legends, it’s a group of international tech innovators who we really get into a dialogue with. When we get into a dialogue with them, it really helps to appeal to a group of people who is high tech, young, and international. We love to see how we can evolve as a brand from that.
What do you think this partnership will specifically bring to the League of Legends community?
Fetzer: We have already done some experiences for the League of Legends community, we really learned from some of our mistakes we made early in the partnership. I think what we have learned is that the more authentic we are and the more benefit we can provide, the better the fans really react to us. We will continue to make enthusiastic videos [Mercedes debuted their Worlds ad which featured several League of Legends heroes and the Dragon] like you just saw. We will also make some in-game items, we have our Hextech Chest that we are providing for Worlds 2020. I think there’s a lot of interesting things that are going to come up.
We’re excited to be on board, to engage with many more League of Legends fans, and we’re looking forward to a great tournament.