The deal leaked last November, when initial reports said that Nike and LPL are to enter a 5-year sponsorship, worth 1 billion CNY, or approximately $144 million. Subsequent reports, however, stated that while the deal is indeed being worked on, the reported duration and value were wrong. There was another issue, however.
The exclusivity of Nike’s apparel sponsorship raised disputes from various LPL teams, who had apparel deals of their own. EDward Gaming is one such team, sponsored by domestic sportswear brand Li-Ning. In January this year, two months after the Nike deal broke, Li-Ning also purchased Snake Esports, another LPL team.
According to VPEsports sources, however, Riot Games owner Tencent doesn’t expect too much conflict of sponsorship interests. Li-Ning’s deal with EDG concerns casual dressing so EDG players can still wear Nike on-stage and Li-Ning in their everyday life.
The case with Snake Esports and Li-Ning is a bit more different. Since Li-Ning purchased Snake Esports after the Nike deal was reported on, VPEsports sources have suggested that Li-Ning has likely made some kind of concession. A revenue sharing system has also been put in place between Nike and Tencent, although how and if this will affect teams has not been confirmed yet.
There is no information about the deal’s monetary value, although VPEsports sources indicate, that the sum is much lower than the previously reported 1 billion CNY.
Sportswear company Nike has been officially confirmed as the new sponsor for the Chinese League of Legends circuit, the LPL. Players will wear the Nike logo on jerseys, hoodies, shoes, and pants and will have to be in Nike wear all the time they are on stage. The deal is for four years.