From the pages of les Nouvelles – Journal of the Licensing Executives Society, Volume LVII No. 1, March 2022

MasterCard has joined with the North American League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) in a global, exclusive partnership. Perennial European championship-contender Team Fanatic partners with Gucci in a collaboration for a $1600 luxury diver’s watch. Even legendary comic book and media magnate Marvel Corporation has gotten in on the action with a partnership with Team Liquid for team jerseys inspired by the hit film The Avengers.

These are only a handful of the brand partnerships that have recently been announced, much to the shock of non-devotees of the esports and gaming markets. From luxury brands to automobiles, from universities to marketing monoliths, more money is flooding into a specific subset of the gaming market—esports—through huge licensing deals with game developers. How did this happen, and what are some of the take-aways that can be beneficial to the traditional licensing community as a whole?

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