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."