The League of Legends World Championship is arguably the biggest esports event each year, but this year it carries even greater significance as one of the only international championship events in all of esports to take place in person. Twenty-two teams have traveled to Shanghai to compete for the Summoner’s Cup in front of a global audience watching from home on various streaming platforms including Twitch and YouTube.
Riot Games lined up a large list of global partners for Worlds 2020, and each of these brands can be seen in different ways throughout the broadcast. With the first weekend of competition now in the books, we take a look at how Riot activated its global partners through the Worlds 2020 broadcast.
The broadcast kicks off by showing players entering the arena on the OPPO Cam. From there, the pre-game show is hosted from Berlin in the LEC studio. The set features a Red Bull-branded fridge (stocked with cans of Red Bull) centered between the host and analysts. When the team transitions from this intro set to their analysis desk, Red Bull cans are again prominently displayed on the desk.
During the pre-game show, various segments are sponsored by select partners. Audio brand Bose presents the Sounds of the Game, while Red Bull brings a Top Play highlight for analysts to discuss.
When it is time for the first game to begin, the broadcast transitions to the competition stage where official supplier products are in use. Players compete using Alienware computers and monitors. They are seated in a special Worlds 2020 edition Secretlab chair (which also features the Mercedes-Benz logo), and communicate using Bose headsets.
With the match ready to begin, the teams move into the Champ Select phase, which is powered by Alienware.
During breaks, a banner on the upcoming matches display rotates through the logos of the various global partners. These breaks will also feature in-broadcast commercials from Red Bull, Mercedes-Benz, Alienware, Spotify, OPPO, Mastercard, Secretlab, Bose, AXE, and State Farm.
With the teams having chosen their champions for the match, the broadcast transitions to an in-game display. Information about the match is overlaid on top of the gameplay, and this overlay is also used to highlight brands. Similar to the break screen, a banner in the bottom-left continuously rotates through the global partner logos. The gold difference graph showing which team has had the lead throughout the game is presented by Mastercard. When a team takes down the map’s biggest monster, the Baron, Red Bull presents the Baron Power Play.
Brands are also activated inside the game itself through in-game banners, which debuted earlier in the year across Riot’s major pro leagues. For Worlds 2020, these banners feature OPPO, Mastercard, Spotify, Mercedes-Benz, Alienware, and Secretlab.
Once the match has concluded, the commentators discuss the action that just occured before transitioning into a key highlight – the Mercedes-Benz Drive to Victory. Once the commentary team concludes its analysis, they toss things back to the LEC studio for further discussion.
After the day’s series of matches has concluded, the broadcast shifts to a post game show called Worlds Cooldown Presented by State Farm. The Worlds Cooldown set also displays the State Farm logo on a monitor.
Some brands are also activating outside of the broadcast. Over the weekend, Mercedes-Benz gave away several in-game item rewards for answering a League of Legends trivia quiz on Twitter. Spotify has created behind the scenes content for the creation of the Worlds 2020 anthem, and has teased a new podcast series which will debut in mid-October.
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