Japanese automaker Honda, which first became the official automotive partner of Team Liquid back in 2019, has recently signed a new naming rights deal with the popular esports org. Under the expanded relationship with Team Liquid, Honda’s brand will officially appear on Team Liquid’s League of Legends LCS and academy teams, and the org will officially compete in the LCS under the name Team Liquid Honda.
Honda is among a number of top auto manufacturers who have looked to gaming and esports to connect with younger consumers. Toyota was a launch partner for Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League in 2018, Ford has been a presenting sponsor for the Rocket League Championship Series, BMW has partnered with numerous teams and sponsored the European League of Legends Championship back in 2017, to name just a few.
In announcing its new deal with Team Liquid, Honda noted that it represents “the evolution of Honda’s esports and gaming journey as the brand reaches out to gamers at all levels to deepen its relationship with young, first-time and multicultural buyers.” Team Liquid and Honda debuted their brand-new team jerseys at the recent 2022 LCS Summer Split, and the companies also teamed with Snapchat to allow fans to “try on” the Team Liquid Honda jersey in augmented reality.
As noted by Esports Insider, naming rights deals in the esports industry are becoming increasingly popular. Following last year’s landmark 10-year deal TSM signed with FTX, Dignitas announced a deal last year with digital bank QNTMPAY, while earlier this year, Immortals landed a multi-year naming rights deal with insurance company Progressive.
For Honda, expanding its positive relationship with Team Liquid and keeping its momentum in the esports space makes sense as the brand is quite well received among esports viewers. According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, Honda ranks fifth behind Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, and BMW in terms of car brands that US esports viewers (18+) own.
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