Video game developer Riot Games has announced Chinese brand Oppo as the exclusive global smartphone partner of League of Legends esports through to 2024.
The multi-year deal covers the competitive gaming franchise’s three annual global tournaments: the Mid-Season Invitational, the All-Star Event and the World Championship.
Starting with this year’s League of Legends World Championship, Oppo will run a series of activations at each event, including MVP presented by Oppo, which will see the company sponsor the award given to the best-performing player, and Oppo Cam, providing fans with behind-the-scenes footage.
The deal marks Oppo’s first move into esports, although the company has been upping its sports sponsorship drive in recent times through partnerships with the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Wimbledon tennis grand slam and Spanish soccer champions Barcelona.
“Esports is a fast-growing sport globally, and League of Legends has become a lifestyle of many young people in recent years,” said Brian Shen, Oppo’s vice president and president of global marketing.
“As a consumer-centred brand, Oppo always seeks the right way to communicate with young people, our target audience. This is a great move for Riot and Oppo; the partnership will allow us to continue to strengthen our bond with the young as we join them in celebrating the victory of each game.”
The deal adds to League of Legends esports’ growing portfolio of sponsors, which includes financial services firm Mastercard, insurance company State Farm, Dell subsidiary Alienware, gaming chair manufacturer Secretlab and French fashion house Louis Vuitton.
“Oppo’s commitment to design and innovation are cornerstones in everything they do, and we are thrilled to have them bring their pioneering spirit to our global sport and fanbase,” added Naz Aletaha, head of global esports business development and partnerships for Riot Games.
“To be Oppo’s first esports league partner is a powerful testament to the resonance of League of Legends esports, and we look forward to collaborating together to celebrate the sport, our fans, and the love of the game.”