Honda's latest partnership has nothing to do with the automotive world. Instead, it's looking to gamers for added exposure.
The automaker announced Thursday it will serve as the official automotive partner of the Riot Games League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). Honda will continue to sponsor Team Liquid, the esports team that most recently took home the top prize in the LCS, and it will also continue an existing partnership with streaming platform Twitch. Honda first dabbled in the esports arena in 2014 and has worked with a number of organizations, including publisher EA and a presentation of the NHL World Championship.
Of course, this comes down to putting Honda's name in more places. The automaker said advertising spots are "scarce" in LCS, and with the esports industry expected to grow throughout next decade, Honda wanted in. Aside from advertising space, Honda also plans to work with the top athletes from the LCS to create custom content, i.e. marketing stuff.
For now, the focus is on Team Liquid. The brand debuted four videos to highlight the inner drives of three athletes and the team's CEO. Each focuses on a monologue that tells viewers what pushes them to be better and come out on top in the LCS. All four had a chance to create custom-wrapped Honda Civics. Fans will find them on the places youngsters like to hang out most: Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Instagram and more.
Esports brought in an estimated $905 million worth of revenue according to data from Newzoo in 2018. This year, the market research company predicts that figure will top $1 billion and keep growing into the next decade. It's no wonder Honda wants a slice of the pie -- LCS is the premier league in North America.
Maybe Honda is on to something with all of its esports work. The automaker was keen to point out the Honda Civic is the No. 1 most-purchased vehicle by millennials and Gen Z.