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Nike makes esports play with League of Legends China deal

Sporting goods brand Nike is close to a landmark sponsorship deal worth tens of millions of dollars with the League of Legends Professional League China (LPL).

Reports in the Chinese media indicate that the two parties have reached the basis for an agreement that could be worth as much as CNY 1bn (€126m/$144m) over five years.

Under the deal, Nike will provide clothing, accessories and shoes for all 16 LPL teams for the coming season.

The LPL is a franchise league, formed in 2013, with organisations buying into permanent positions and sharing in the league revenue. The  League of Legends Championship Series is the equivalent competition in North America and Europe.

In October, Nike cut a deal to incorporate Chinese Professional League of Legends player Jian ‘Uzi’ Zihao alongside basketball’s LeBron James to support the NBA star’s ‘Dribble &’ campaign.