Riot Games partners with Nielsen to provide advanced sponsorship data

Mike S. June 27, 2019

Consumer insights platform Nielsen has announced a new partnership with developer Riot Games that will see the company track sponsorship valuations and return on investment across multiple League of Legends competitions. 

Nielsen will be measuring brand exposure for sponsors across both the LCS and LEC throughout 2019 and 2020, as well as at international events such as the annual World Championship, the Mid-Season Invitational, and the All-Star event. Select Asian leagues may also be included, but these have not yet been confirmed.

Nielsen aims to help Riot Games demonstrate the monetary value of the exposure provided to brands currently activating or considering an association with LoL events. This research will also help sponsors to achieve the greatest potential return on investment through Riot Games.

In simpler terms, Nielsen will be trying to find out how effective sponsorships are for the major LoL competitions, focusing specifically on how many people engage with the sponsors and how much money those sponsors may make in their business directly related to the active sponsorships. 

“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 for Nielsen Esports. “With this agreement, we have the opportunity to help monetize Riot Games’ platform and validate this growing market.”

While sponsorship still makes up the majority of esports revenue, it isn’t always easy to prove to brands exactly what they are getting in return when they sponsor a tournament. Viewership figures, especially those coming from Asia, are often unreliable. Actually tracking how many eyes see a certain advertisement or logo on a stream is very difficult. Nielsen is trying to change that, and will be using viewership data directly from Riot to help with this. 

“Trust and transparency are vital components of building and maintaining relationships with brand partners,” added Doug Watson, head of esports insights at 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.”

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