24 Oct Enter:Nike
This week has already been packed full of events happening in the Esports world. With the League of Legends World Championships going on, there has been plenty of subjects I could have written about. However, I feel like overloading people with information about the LoL Worlds can be somewhat counter productive.
What could help stem the tide from constant twitter updates from ESPN Esports? Nothing other than Nike signing Jian ‘Uzi’ Zihao to accompany Lebron James in his ‘Dribble &’ campaign. The ‘Dribble &’ campaign is to support Lebron James upcoming Showtime series, ‘Shut up and Dribble’.
Whats important about this, is that this is Nike’s first time ever signing an endorsement in the Esports arena. This goes to show big name companies are starting to acknowledge the growth and popularity of Esports. Nike however is not the only big name to invest in Esports. Robert Kraft, Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’neil, Rick Fox, The Houston Rockets, The Cavaliers, and many more big names and big companies have all invested in either buying into an Esport franchise or owning their own gaming team that competes in big money tournaments.
The days of looking at video games as counter productive are nearing an end. Colleges are now offering scholarships to skilled video game players to come play on their collegiate teams and compete in college level leagues. Some professional players are making salaries that will even make most corporate business men think about changing their profession.
But I digress, ‘Uzi’ is known as one of the best League of Legends players in the world. At the age of 21, I would say that type of notariety has come in handy in landing this endorsement. He is also apart of the team named, “Royal Never Give Up (RNG).” The significance of this is that team RNG has already signed endorsements from both Mercedes and KFC.
Aside from being on a powerhouse of a team, Zihao’s accomplishments have a wide range. From winning the gold medal in the Asian Games in Jakarta, to having his own Esports career documented on CCTV (Chinese State Television Broadcaster) Zihao’s future is looking bright. If there is one thing I can take away from this news, it’s that the future is in full throttle for Esports and has no sign of slowing down anytime soon.