Grubhub is setting out to up the ante in esports this year by kicking off a
three-year partnership with the League Championship Series (LCS), Riot Games’ NA LoL Professional League, the #1 professional esports league in North America. According to recent market research, the esports market is on track to surpass $1.5B by 2023, with viewership expected to grow to 646 million in 2023, which is double the previous six-year period. The fast-growing and fiercely engaged gaming fanbase provides a largely untapped opportunity for us to become a significant part of the esports community because watching sports and entertaining content pairs perfectly with food, especially when it’s delivered.
“As esports and gaming continue to rise in popularity, our vision is for Grubhub to become synonymous with this sport, make Grubhub and Gaming a new favorite cultural pastime,” said Jessica Burns, Vice President, Brand Marketing and Creative at Grubhub. “Our partnership with the LCS gets us one step closer to that goal.”
By being at the center of the premiere League of Legends (LoL) battleground in North America, Grubhub will be able to provide moments of joy for fans and diners through fun, co-branded activations and offerings alongside LCS teams, tournaments and creators. Our activations will range from custom in-game broadcast and social content to limited-edition merch drops and Grubhub – and even a few surprise Hextech chest deliveries. LCS fans will first start seeing Grubhub branding during LCS’s first-ever Lock In Tournament on January 15, along with activations across different channels. Following that is the highly anticipated LCS Spring Split, which begins on February 5. Throughout each weekend’s matches, we’ll also be offering exclusive deals from partners, and opportunities for diners to redeem free Hextech chests in the game.
Throughout the season, fans can tune into Delivering the Win, an in-game LCS broadcast segment highlighting game-changing moments from the week’s matchups, to get exclusive delivery discount codes from the shoutcasters. As we draw closer to the postseason, Grubhub will be integrated into multiple Road to the Finals episodes, a LCS broadcast series that zooms in on the most compelling performances and storylines of the season leading up to the postseason. Throughout the season, we will also deliver Perks to fans from some of their favorite restaurants, along with in-game exclusive Hextech chests, skins and more. For the season’s grand finale, we’ll help crown the two LCS title champions of 2021, by serving as presenting partner of the LCS Mid-Season Showdown and the LCS Championship.
In addition to this epic partnership with LCS, Grubhub is excited to partner with popular LCS teams and players to bring a variety of branded content, custom jerseys, and exclusive promotions throughout the 2021 season. As a sneak peek, we’re teaming up with Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, an eight-time LCS Champion, to create custom content for his popular Twitch and social media channels to further engage with LCS fans and diners.
Grubhub’s first foray into esports was in 2018 with TSM, which started out as a small piloted partnership and later grew to a year-long deal. From there, we piloted partnerships with some of the most popular teams and creators, like 100 Thieves. For the next two years, we continued our TSM sponsorship and launched additional sponsorships of well-known tournaments. In 2020, we signed on as the official food delivery sponsor of one of the top professional esports leagues, and hosted virtual events with popular celebrity guests, along with other in-game activations, in everyone’s favorite animal-themed island game.
To date, our partnership with the LCS is the most comprehensive and ambitious esports partnership for Grubhub. We are very excited to continue looking for ways to enhance our efforts in gaming and esports, and we look forward to seeing you all tune in this year!