Nike sponsors some of the world’s top athletes. It was once rumored that perhaps the company would consider sponsoring esports players as well given the increasing popularity of this genre. That has now turned out to be true as Nike has signed a three-year deal with the League of Legends Pro League in China. It’s a very big competition that has 16 professional teams competing for the prize.
As part of this deal, Nokia will be supplying all of the squads with sneakers and casual clothing. It will eventually provide them with professional jerseys as well. The League of Legends Pro League has confirmed that it will also be possible to purchase garments produced by Nike at the Mid-Season Invitational in May this year.
The very first jerseys produced by Nike for the league will the be shown off during the League of Legends World Championship in Paris later this year. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Nike has finally decided to embrace esports given just how rapidly this industry is now growing. It also doesn’t hurt that League of Legends has a significant global audience.
This isn’t actually the first time that Nike has thought about entering the esports arena but it wasn’t the apparel space. It recruited RNG player Jian “Uzi” Zihao for a marketing campaign with basketball icon LeBron James in 2018. This is now the first time that Nike is sponsoring an esports competition formally.