Fried chicken all around—Chinese League of Legends Pro League team Royal Never Give Up announced a sponsorship deal this week with fast food chain KFC.
RNG posted the announcement on Chinese media site Weibo this week alongside an absolutely epic promotional graphic. Imagine it: a glowing sun back-lights eight League of Legends players, only the sun is a glimmering, golden piece of fried chicken. The Esports Observer reported today that the partnership is a one-year deal. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
RNG is also sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, Lynx, and Logitech G. KFC is another big name for the Chinese League team; market research firm Millward Brown declared KFC the “most powerful foreign brand” in China as of 2013. The restaurant has continued to be popular in the country, with a reported market share of 11.6 percent as of 2016, according to Euromonitor International. (McDonald’s has a 5.6 percent market share, Business Insider reported.) KFC has more than 5,000 restaurants in China.
In 2015, KFC partnered with Riot Games to bring themed restaurants to China. Outside of China, KFC partnered with ESforce Holding for KFC Battle, which included a Dota 2 tournament held in Russia.
Restaurant partnerships are popping up more frequently in esports and League; in June, Riot Games announced sub sandwich franchise Jersey Mike’s as a sponsor for the North American League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split. Fast casual food chain Chipotle is also involved in esports with a house sponsorship for TSM’s Fortnite: Battle Royale team.