FTX announce seven-year deal with Riot Games’ League of Legends

The partnership allows for the FTX logo and branding to be displayed during League Championship Series (LCS) games

Leading cryptocurrency exchange FTX has announced a partnership with the LCS that will see it become the official exchange of the seasonal eSports league. 

The seven-year deal represents the largest sponsorship agreement Riot Games has ever signed for an eSports league and marks the continued growth and popularity of the thriving industry.

Beginning with this weekend’s games, the LCS broadcast will feature FTX branding in strategic positions to highlight metrics involving gold – the resource used in League Of Legends to buy items.

The metrics will focus on player net worth, total team gold and gold graphs. The statistics will be presented by FTX and feature their branding. Additionally, FTX will directly sponsor the “LCS Most Improved Player Award” which will be voted on by a selection of Riot employees, media and team representatives.

League of Legends has emerged as one of the most popular games in eSports, boasting an active monthly player base of more than 100m players and achieving in excess of 40 million viewers during recent 2019 and 2020 World Championships. 

The partnership follows FTX’s collaboration in June with leading eSports organisation Team SoloMid. The multi-year naming rights deal with TSM was worth a record-breaking $210m, and saw all competitive TSM rosters be renamed to “TSM FTX”.

The partnership with TSM, however, didn’t allow for FTX branding to be used on LCS broadcasts as it violated Riot Games’ regulations. 

FTX has sponsored numerous leading sports organisations within the US, seeing recent partnerships with MLB and NBA teams prove lucrative for the exchange. Its recent funding round of $900m and subsequent valuation of $18bn injected fresh capital into FTX’s thriving operations and is now enabling it to solidify a presence and brand recognition within North American markets.

Meanwhile, Coinbase – a rival exchange to FTX – has partnered with eSports organisations, signing a recent deal to become a shirt sponsor for another LCS organisation, Evil Geniuses. Coinbase has also partnered with eSports tournament organiser ESL to sponsor StarCraft II and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournaments.

As the hype surrounding NFTs starts up again, FTX has announced it will be launching a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace dedicated to sports and entertainment brands with Dolphin Entertainment.

The partnership will see Dolphin work with FTX to provide the branding, production and marketing for the NFT platform. FTX will provide crypto exchange services and blockchain tech development for the platform, which will become the “backbone” of the marketplace.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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