Progressive inks esports naming rights deal in latest sign of category maturity

Progressive inks esports naming rights deal in latest sign of category maturity

Diving Brief:

  • Progressive Insurance has signed an exclusive, multi-year naming rights agreement with esports organization Immortals, known for its League of Legends play, according to a press release. It is the first such sponsorship agreement for Immortals.
  • Immortals’ League of Legends teams will now compete under the “Immortals Progressive” name, while Progressive serves as the group’s official insurance sponsor. The change is reflected in official gear and merchandise, including new, progressive Northern Lights themed jerseys that mark the Great Lakes region where the Immortals were relocated last year.
  • As part of the naming rights charter, Progressive is serving as a sponsor of a new branded Twitch broadcast program hosted by Immortals team members that will run regularly throughout 2022. Other activations include League of Legends community tournaments, giveaways and development of a co-branded space in the video game Minecraft that supports virtual competitions and games for fans.

Diving Insight:

Progressive joins a flood of major brands building more substantial relationships with the esports community as gaming becomes a dominant form of entertainment and marketing tactics increase. While a lot of non-endemic marketers now engage in video games, the naming rights deals that have persisted in years past require frequent creative production and relied on trust with creators suggesting that premium advertisers like Progressive see this category as a long-term bet.

Activation around esports looks different from media strategies tailored to the traditional esports arena. Progressive tends to appeal to streaming content to interact with digital native Immortals followers.

The third largest auto insurer in the US will host Twitch streams “once or more per month” on timeless talent channels such as content creator AriaSaki and League of Legends professional players PowerOfEvil, WildTurtle, Revenge, Destiny and Xerxe. Broadcasts will display personalized progressive banners and give viewers the opportunity to score awards. The marketer will also have a presence at major esports events, such as the LCS Lock In Championship where Immortals Progressive will compete in its first match on January 15. The event is streaming on Twitch and YouTube.

The Minecraft Common Venue also suggests that Progressive is testing strategies related to the metaverse, which have close ties to the games. Other companies have turned to platforms similar to Minecraft, such as Roblox, to develop virtual spaces where consumers can participate in activities, try goods, and learn more about products and services.

Other recent esports hookups include McDonald’s linking up with FaZe Clan – among the industry’s most recognized brands – in August. The deal was described as “one of QSR’s largest gaming partnerships to date.” Crypto.com in November became the first global marketing partner for Twitch Rivals, the rival destination for the Amazon-owned streaming platform.

Esports content was expected to attract about 26 million viewers per month last year in the US, according to eMarketer estimates.

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