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‘A credible voice’: Why Honda is doubling down on esports

Digiday 16 Sep 2020 04:01
September 16, 2020 by Lara O'Reilly

The Honda Civic has been the top vehicle sold to U.S. millennials since 2011, according to research Strategic Vision. Keen to stay front-of-mind among young first-time car-buyers, Honda embarked on an esports and video games sponsorship strategy in 2014 and has been doubling down on that investment ever since.

This summer, Honda featured heavily in the Riot Games’ League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split tournament, which concluded in September, as its exclusive automotive partner. Last year, Honda became the exclusive automotive sponsor for pro esports team Team Liquid, which came third overall in the Championship. The team’s other sponsors include SAP, Alienware and Monster.

Beginning August 13, Honda was the first advertiser to sponsor the digital in-arena banners during the LCS broadcast, which airs on Twitch, YouTube and Trovo, a newer livestreaming platform. Since last year, Honda has also sponsored the League’s “MVP” (most valuable player) award and the LCS Scouting Grounds amateur competition.

“What we’ve been able to see in particular with covid is that gaming and esport to that degree is somewhat of a safe bet” versus traditional sports that have been more subject to cancelations and postponements, said Matthew Archambault, head of partnerships and business development for North America esports at Riot Games. “We were able to carry on — we don’t have to have a LAN (local area network) experience.”

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