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Tencent generates $64m from esports sponsorship in half-year results

Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent Holdings earned $64m (€57.1m) from sponsorship deals related to its esports operations in the first half of 2019. according to reports.

The figure was released at the Tencent Global Esports Annual Summit in China in June, but has only recently been reported in the media.

The half-year total compares with $41m in sponsorship deals from all Tencent-related esports tournaments in the full-year 2018.

Tencent also generated $66m in media rights revenue in the first half of 2019, compared to $54m of media revenue in the whole of 2018.

Speaking at the Summit, Dai Bin, vice-general manager of Tencent Interactive Entertainment Market Department, said: “Between 2018-2019, the Chinese esports industry has seen multiple non-endemic brands and companies enter into Tencent’s esports empire [Tencent Games, Riot Games, and TJ Sports] acting as sponsors, partners, or even team owners.

“This is especially true for two of the major franchise-style tournaments in the region: the League of Legends Pro League (LPL) and King Pro League (KPL).”

The LPL is China’s top League of Legends tournament, run by TJ Sports, a joint venture established by Tencent and Riot Games

In April, Nike signed a four-year deal, from 2019 to 2022, to serve as the LPL’s first Official and Exclusive Apparel and Footwear Partner.

Read this: Nike invests as first apparel partner of China’s League of Legends Pro League

The KPL is a competition for Tencent’s mobile esports title, Honor of Kings. It is fully operated by Tencent Games.