Riot Partners with Nielsen Sports for Comprehensive Sponsorship Valuation Measurement

10 Jul 2019

Riot Partners with Nielsen Sports for Comprehensive Sponsorship Valuation Measurement

Riot and Nielsen Partnership

Riot Games and Nielsen Sports, formerly Repucom, recently decided to partner together to form a sponsorship valuation deal for Riot’s League of Legends competitions. Nielsen Sports will provide a comprehensive sponsorship valuation measurement in return for brand exposure from Riot during esports competitions. In turn, Nielsen will reap heavy brand exposure during Riot’s League of Legends events and competitions. “As part of the agreement, Riot Games will provide access to its aggregated streaming viewership data to support Nielsen’s independent brand exposure measurement. This includes the new Pro View experience that helps fans follow individual players during League of Legends competitions. Metrics will be incorporated into the industry-leading Nielsen Esport24 syndicated sponsorship valuation product” (Venturebeat). This way, a value may be placed upon the elements generated by sponsorships, and the ROI may be calculated for sponsors. Nielsen’s measurement process will occur during the 2019 and 2020 League of Legends competitions, including the North America League of Legends Championship Series, the League of Legends European Championship, the League of Legends three international events, and select regional leagues in Asia.

Exposure in Esports 

Because of the widespread popularity from League of Legends esports experts and non experts alike, this partnership will hopefully continue the standard for sponsorship improvement and brand awareness. “The game has already drawn big companies – even those not endemic to the esports universe – including State Farm, Mastercard, Inc. and Nike, Inc.” (Reuters). 

“As esports continues to gain momentum with brand marketers and advertisers, the need for independent, third-party verification of audiences and brand exposure is critical,” said Nicole Pike, Managing Director, Nielsen Esports. “With this agreement, we have the opportunity to help monetize Riot Games’ platform and validate this growing market” (SVG News). In doing so, this measurement process is a detailed way to see where the sponsorship advertising dollars are going and the effectiveness of those dollars. The impact of Nielsen’s sponsorship valuation measurement is anticipated to not only foster the brands of current sponsors, but to also further any future relationships with prospective sponsors. “Trust and transparency are vital components of building and maintaining relationships with brand partners,” said Doug Watson, Head of Esports Insights, Riot Games. “As major companies invest in our tournaments, we want to help them see the value of their exposure and identify how best to engage with our passionate fan base.”Both Riot and Nielsen understand the importance of esports sponsors’ growing interest in the League of Legends fanbase and plan to take advantage of that interest through this detailed valuation assessment. 

Brief Nielsen Sports Background 

Nielsen’s expertise in market research and sponsorship consulting include, “sports measurement, evaluation, and intelligence services” (Bloomberg). With their objective strategic analysis, “Nielsen’s measurement is based on the quality, duration and location of brand exposure, in addition to the size of the audience seeing or hearing the mention of that brand’s identity” (Reuters). Entering into its esports division in 2017, Nielsen recognized the booming industry of esports and the need to reach this quickly growing fanbase. “Metrics from League of Legends viewership will also be used in Nielsen’s Esport24 sponsorship valuation product. When the syndicated product debuted in 2017, Nielsen said sponsorships of esports tournaments ranged in yield from $75,000 to nearly $17 million—illustrating the need for some form of standard metric” (Ad Week).

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