Rocket League embraces in-game branding for esports sponsors
Psyonix has committed to providing more value to its partnered Rocket League esports teams than ever before, allowing organizations to showcase sponsors on their purchasable in-game car decals.
The basics: This isn't the first instance of in-game advertising of sponsors, just look at League of Legends esports, but it's a sign that Psyonix believes there's real value in such integrations and that the developer wants to help partnered teams to be more successful.
- Psyonix has introduced 'away' skins for all teams in the dedicated Esports Shop, which can be accessed in the game itself.
- Sponsors, like Nissan with FaZe Clan, feature prominently on these new aways skins — which could well be used by thousands of players.
- Complexity and Misfits Gaming have been added to the shop with this latest game update, meaning there's a total of 34 teams with branded items in the shop now.
The specifics: Not all teams have sponsors on their away decals at this stage, but it's worth noting some that do. Many of these may well be going above and beyond to make partners happy.
- Semper Esports is showcasing trading card giant Topps.
- Envy Gaming has chosen fast-food company Jack in the Box.
- NRG has naming sponsor The General on the side of their decal.
- Endpoint has naming sponsor CeX, a second-hand goods chain, on its decal.
- eFuse has a presence in the game through its new partnership with RLCS team Version1.
- SK Gaming is promoting Mercedes-Benz, one of the shareholders in the German organization.
- Dignitas chose digital bank QNTMPAY, the naming sponsor of its LCS team, to display on its car.
- Pittsburgh Knights is advertising manufacturing company Zippo, a brand it only partnered with back in December 2021, on its skin.
The wider scope: This provides a lot more value to teams with in-game skins, providing a new method of activating sponsorships and thus further pleasing their partners.
- Fans can buy in-game skins for their favorite team which now include sponsors, allowing for further brand integration and generally more eyeballs on the sponsors' logo even in casual play.
- RLCS events rack up thousands upon thousands of viewership hours across major events — this is perfect for teams looking to generate more awareness for their commercial partners outside of jersey placements and naming sponsorships. It could lead to more financially fruitful deals for organizations which, frankly, is sorely needed.
- If this move proves effective, what's to say the arena itself won't be used to advertize RLCS sponsors like Ford in the future? This is a move towards what's common in traditional sports, which is where most decision-makers in the industry want esports to go.