Lagardère Sports will serve as the exclusive commercial agent for T1 Entertainment & Sports (T1), a new joint venture between Comcast Spectacor and SK Telecom that will feature three-time League of Legends (LoL) world championship team SKT T1, as well as teams across several competitive gaming segments that include Fortnite, PUBG, Super Smash Bros., Hearthstone and Apex Legends. Upon the launch of the joint venture, which remains subject to government approvals, Lagardère Sports will be responsible for marketing T1’s commercial rights, including managing all brand partnerships and sponsorship engagements.
T1’s partnership with Lagardère Sports underscores the organisation’s commitment to establish a successful and structured approach to its sales, marketing and sponsorship efforts. As the exclusive sponsorship agency for T1, Lagardère Sports will leverage its extensive international network and expertise in sports sponsorship consulting to conceptualise unique activations and establish long-term partnerships with both endemic and non-endemic brands.
“We look forward to working with Lagardère Sports to optimise the tremendous growth potential for T1 Entertainment & Sports,” said Joe Marsh, Chief Business Officer for Comcast Spectacor’s Spectacor Gaming division. “Lagardère Sports has earned a strong track record of maximising the value and opportunities surrounding major brands, and we are happy to partner with them from the start of a very promising chapter for T1.”
League of Legends is one of the most played and watched games in the world, attracting over 100 million players monthly. In 2017, the World Championship amassed over 1.2 billion viewership hours, with fans spending more than 137 million hours watching SKT T1’s run to the Finals.
The SKT T1 LoL team is headlined by legendary player, Faker, widely recognised as one of the most talented and popular gamers of all time. A five-time MVP Award winner, Faker has 15 championships under his belt and more than six million followers on social media. In 2018, SKT T1 bolstered their starting line-up by signing four new world-class players, including Khan, Teddy, Clid, and 2014 World Champion Mata, making them the most star-studded team in LoL’s history.
“We are at a tipping point where more than ever before, brands are seriously looking at esports as a massive marketing opportunity,” said Adrian Staiti, Executive Vice President, Global Partnerships at Lagardère Sports. “In an increasingly fragmented media landscape, few properties rival the portfolio of assets that has been assembled by T1 Entertainment & Sports, and their ability to attract a captive pool of younger audiences with a high disposable income. T1 will bring the perfect balance of high performance and strong fan appeal, which will certainly reap a strong return of investment for brands.”
The SKT T1 LoL team was first founded in 2012 after eight successful years of competing in Starcraft. Since then, SKT T1 has become the most decorated team in League of Legends’ history, winning the World Championship thrice (2013, 2015, 2016) and claiming five other major titles in the process, including the 2016 and 2017 LoL Mid-Season Invitationals.
SKT T1 won the League Champions Korea 2019 Spring Season, which catapulted the team to the top of the ESPN LoL world rankings. SKT T1 will be officially renamed T1 this summer, and the T1 brand is poised to become a household name and one of the most valuable brands in esports.
A leading sports marketing agency with 50 years of experience in traditional sports, Lagardère Sports has exclusive access to more than 60,000 rights holders, brands, hospitality clients and broadcasters globally. It is also the world’s most active full-service esports agency, managing marketing partnerships and providing strategic consulting for leading teams, publishers, event organisers and brands such as SAP, Shell, and Foot Locker. The agency has raised the bar in esports through its successful partnerships with Riot Games, RFRSH Entertainment, PUBG, and many other leading esports organisations.