Santander banks on LoL Esports to connect with young consumers

Banco Santander, one of the largest financial firms in the world, is once again looking to the world of esports – specifically League of Legends – to bolster its appeal with digital natives. The Spanish bank recently signed a multi-year partnership with both the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) and Liga Latinoamérica (LLA). The agreement also includes sponsorship of the League of Legend’s Brazilian Championship (CBLOL). Santander will gain logo placements, dedicated content segments, ads during broadcast breaks, banners, and will be able to offer drops and VIP tickets for the finals.

The bank held a special event in Madrid to announce the partnership, and it leveraged the talents of Medic, a LoL caster with more than 250,000 followers, and Spanish streamer Cristinini (over three million followers). Esports pros such as Alan Q, Inspired, and Jukes participated as well, and the event featured musical performances from singer Nicki Nicole and rapper Chuty.

Riot’s League of Legends World Championship in 2021 garnered a peak viewership of close to 74 million concurrent live viewers, and Santander wants to tap into that audience, specifically with the goal of fostering “a new community and connect[ing] with younger generations to help them prosper.” The bank sees this esports partnership as rivaling its other major deals across F1 racing and soccer. For the LEC, Santander joins a list of mainstream sponsors that includes Kia, Warner Music, KitKat, RedBull, and more.

Financial institutions have been increasingly looking at gaming and esports in global markets as they seek to connect with Gen Z consumers. HSBC, for example, teamed up with One Esports in Malaysia earlier this year to “help gamers, fans, and teams with their in-game and real-life financial fitness.”

For Santander, aligning itself with LoL Esports in Europe and Latin America seems like a smart decision, as League of Legends continues to attract a vibrant player base in numerous countries. While Asian countries like China and South Korea remain in the lead for LoL playership, Interpret’s New Media Measure: Global Profiles™ shows that Brazil and Mexico both see around one-fifth of their gaming population engaged with Riot’s top game while Santander’s domestic market of Spain also fares well at more than 14% of gamers playing LoL.

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