Sponsored integrations during Worlds are an extremely interesting topic to discuss. Viewers are subjected to a wide variety of brand appearances during the broadcast of the championship, for which we have conducted an in-depth analysis.
Our article centres around the second game day (October 4, 2020) of the English broadcast on the official Riot Games Twitch channel.
The selected broadcast features the following companies: Alienware, AXE, BOSE, CISCO, Mastercard, Mercedes, OPPO, Red Bull, Secretlab, Spotify and State Farm.
Out of these, we would like to place a special emphasis on OPPO, Mastercard, Mercedes and Spotify, as their logos can be found on banners within the game itself. The majority of such in-game advertising was conducted by Mastercard.
A variety of sponsorship activities has taken place during LoL Worlds, with a few interesting examples. The graph which shows the amount of gold earned by each team displays the Mastercard Logo, whereas Red Bull sponsors the team advantage display when Baron Nashor, one of the most important game objectives, is active.
After analyzing the total broadcast duration of 8 hours and 38 minutes, we can state that the largest Air Time for company logos can be attributed to Mastercard and Alienware.
The latter has a total of 1 hour and 21 minutes of logo airtime, which is 15.6% of the total broadcast time. The indicator managed to reach such a high mark due to the logo appearing during the champion selection phases – which may take up to a third of the total match duration. The Alienware logo could also be seen on the players’ gaming stations.
Coming third is State Farm, due to its frequent appearances under the “game's best assist” rubric as well as during the analytics studio. State Farm is already familiar with such an advertising format due to the company's participation in similar activities during NBA broadcasts.
Mastercard and Mercedes logos appeared most often during the broadcast. In particular, Mercedes sponsored the Drive to Victory rubric, shown after the end of each match in order to demonstrate the game's most important and/or popular moment. The logo of this brand was also located on the chairs of the players, being highly visible as the players themselves were shown often throughout the broadcast.
Secretlab had the smallest Air Time of all sponsors, due to a much smaller number of ad integrations in the structure of the broadcast. Aside from appearing on the corner banner, the gaming chair manufacturer could be spotted in ads shown during breaks, as well as due to their logo being placed on the players' chairs.
The level of exposure of brands such as AXE and CISCO was almost on par with Secretlab. Each of them had a 3.27% share of the total broadcast time. The reason for this is the same: the main focus was on the commercial break between games and the moments of replays.
The total Hours Watched for the day amounted to 2 million 57 thousand. Mastercard excels here with its 402 thousand Hours Watched - 18,3% of the total figure.
Mastercard was able to surpass everyone in this metric specifically due to the presence of two important factors: having an all-around hefty amount of Air Time, as well as appearing at the most popular moments of the broadcast. As opposed to other companies, Mastercard had its logo appear during the matches themselves (which collected much more viewers, compared to music breaks and the champion selection phases).
Once again, CISCO and AXE displayed the lowest result, this time for Hours Watched. As we've already explained, this was caused by a rather small amount of Air Time, as well as appearing in an unpopular type of segment – the commercial break between matches.
So far, the in-game banners and special categories were the most successful cases of ad integration. Such placement allows a brand’s logo to be shown most often during the matches or the analytics studio – although the latter example is somewhat inferior given that most viewers tend to leave the broadcast before this segment begins.
As for the classic commercials shown during breaks between games, these ended up being the least effective during the championship, making up a mere few per cent of the total broadcast airtime, while also being shown during the least popular portions of the broadcast.
Spotify deserves a separate mention, managing to fit perfectly into the broadcast due to being responsible for the music, allowing it to get mentioned after almost every match.
Red Bull seems to be an exception to the “integrations into special categories are the most popular” rule. Red Bull’s indicators were likely low due to the trigger chosen for showing its logo – which would be the act of receiving the Baron Nashor buff.
First of all, some matches are played without the buff at all. Secondly, the duration of the buff is limited to three minutes. Finally, should one of the teams get it, the game would often end in the next few minutes – leading to an even more constrained time period during which Red Bull’s logo is shown.
All in all, Mastercard ended up being the most popular brand of the broadcast, boasting the best results based on almost all key indicators. This result is quite logical given the brand's usage of the largest number of ad integrations. The company's partnership with Riot Games would also be a long-term one, allowing it to be the first one to test the placement of its logo inside the game.
Our service allows you to track and measure the efficiency and performance of partnerships for every event or team as an independent third party. Aside from the general indicators related to popularity and viewer traffic, the important topic of logo recognition is also fully covered. This allows us to analyze the visibility of any brand in great detail, considering how many people watched the stream, when the logo was visible, as well as its location and size, including Media Value.