Honda is expanding its presence in esports and strengthening its bond with the young consumer force by becoming the exclusive automotive sponsor of the Riot Games League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). The initiative will make Honda the first North American automaker to be a sponsor of both a preeminent esports league (LCS) and Team Liquid, a team within the league. 

The car brand is strengthening its existing partnership with gaming leader and three-time LCS champion Team Liquid, and developing stronger ties to the streaming platform Twitch. According to the press release issued by the company, the effort will include sponsorship of the League MVP, the LCS Scouting Grounds (the premiere tournament for up and coming League of Legends players), access to advertising inventory live on LCS game days, as well as custom content highlighting the imagination and determination of the league’s top athletes.

To appeal to the young audience, four 15-second video spots were created for the initiative. The clips encourage viewers to “find their drive” and stay determined, and include feature spots with members of Team Liquid. They will run on Twitch, YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The viewers see Doublelift, Hungrybox, Vivid, and CEO Steve Arhancet in custom-wrapped 2019 Honda Civics. 

Considering that Riot Games has been a dominant player in North American and global esports scene since its launch of League of Legends in 2009, the initiative promises to be especially successful. Over the last four years, League of Legends was the top esport in terms of viewership in North America, seeing 1.1 million average daily unique viewers and 26 million total hours watched during the LCS 2018 full season. With this move, Honda wants to prove its dedication to building an emotional bond with Gen-Z and millennial, and demonstrate that the Honda Civic is more than just an affordable car. 

Phil Hruska, manager of Media Strategy at American Honda said, “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. 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.” 

The partnership will launch around the Summer Split Playoffs, which will begin in Los Angeles on August 10, and the Finals, taking place in Detroit, Michigan on August 24-25.