US sportswear giant Nike has signed an exclusive apparel partnership with global esports organisation T1 Entertainment and Sports, including all of the company’s teams and players.
Under the terms of the deal, Nike will design all T1 team uniforms while every athlete on the South Korean outfit’s roster will wear Nike footwear and sportswear during competition.
The agreement also includes the development of a new esports training facility based in T1 headquarters in Seoul, South Korea’s capital, where Nike will devise training programmes designed to improve the performance of T1’s professional gamers.
Lee Sang-hyeok, T1’s star League of Legends player commonly known as ‘Faker’, will play a key role in promoting the partnership due to his iconic status and strong personal following.
T1 chief executive Joe Marsh said: “Partnering with Nike marks a historical moment in our organisation’s history as we work to transcend esports and further cement T1’s position as a global brand.
“Together, we are thrilled to bring innovation to the next level through Nike’s premier training programmes and performance wear that will help maximise our players’ potential and strengthen the longevity of their careers.
“Nike is renowned for supporting elite athletes of all types and we are excited to collaborate on apparel for our teams and fans to celebrate T1 in every corner of the world.”
Founded in 2012, T1 becomes the latest esports company that Nike has invested. The sportswear manufacturer signed its first esports apparel deal with China’s League of Legends (LOL) Pro League last February, and has since entered into multi-year partnership with Furia Esports, a Brazilian gaming company.
Brant Hirst, Nike’s marketing director in Korea, said: “We’re interested in understanding and learning more about the relationship between improved physical fitness and athleticism as it relates to gaming.
“These athletes have unique skill sets that we believe we can help them improve through tailored training methods.”