Mastercard becomes first global sponsor of esports League of Legends

Mastercard has become the first global sponsor of esport League of Legends after inking a multi-year deal with operator Riot Games.

The financial behemoth will focus on three annual global tournaments:  the mid-season Invitational, the All-Star Event and the World Championship, which takes place next month in South Korea.

Mastercard said it will curate experiences under its Priceless branding, with onsite activations and through

Other promotions will also be drawn up to “bring fans closer to their passion and everything they love about League of Legends events”.

The first live-event activation will take place at the World Championship.

The sponsorship further illustrates the growth of esports which, according to Mastercard, has a global audience of 380 million.

“Esports is a phenomenon that continues to grow in popularity, with fans that can rival those at any major sporting event in their enthusiasm and energy,” Mastercard chief marketing and communications officer Raja Rajamannar said. “Our Priceless platform is built around connecting with people through their passions.

“We are excited about the experiences and benefits we can bring to the world’s largest esport – both in-game and to the millions of League of Legends fans that watch and attend the tournaments each year.”

Riot Games head of esports partnerships, Naz Aletaha, described the partnership with Mastercard as “groundbreaking”,

“Mastercard is among the first of world-class brands to take such a big step into esports at the global level, and we’re proud to have them support League of Legends esports events alongside their other premier sports and entertainment sponsorships,” he said.

Figures supplied in a media statement said fans watched 1.2 billion hours of the 21-day 2017 World Championship competition,.

The most-watched match pulled in over 80 million live unique viewers.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing