Ülker is the new sponsor of the league of legends championship league

Ülker entered the world of e-sports by sponsoring a team in the League of Legends last year, and it has expanded its field this year, by sponsoring the League of Legends Championship League.

Ülker became a sponsor of the League of Legends Championship League until the end of 2017 as part of an agreement with Riot Games, the organizer of the game which has become increasingly popular in Türkiye. Under the agreement, the Ülker logo will be placed on the arms of all League of Legends Championship League team jerseys.

Stating that they think it’s very important to communicate with young people in a language they understand at the press conference held with Riot Games,

pladis Türkiye, Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia Marketing Vice President Başak Karaca said: "At Ülker, we have been putting a smile on consumers’ faces for 73 years. In essence, we feel the same as we did when we made our first newspaper ad or radio announcement in Türkiye. We want to keep the Ülker brand up-to-date and in line with the zeitgeist to carry it to future generations. Therefore, digitalization is not just a marketing topic, it shapes our culture and the way we do business. Our efforts in this area are comparable with global norms as we are constantly renewing ourselves. We identified esports as a main interaction area with this young target audience in the 'happiness is everywhere' campaign we started in 2015.

The communication studies we carried out at that time led us to becoming the first company to air TV advertisements in esports. We reached more than 6 million views and nearly 110,000 subscribers in 6 months on our YouTube esports channel, which we launched with the slogan 'happiness is playing'. Now we’re going one step further and supporting the League of Legends Championship League, which will keep our interactions with young people up-to-date with even more colorful and different projects. Ülker will still be our most active brand, but our sub-brands such as Cafe Crown, Ülker Metro, Çizi, Krispi, and Oneo, which cater to the target audience, will also increase their loyalty in this environment."

The rising trend: E-sports

Pointing out that there are more than 100 million registered League of Legends players in the world, Riot Games Türkiye Manager Bora Koçyiğit said that 3 million players between the ages of 14-28 play this game every day in Türkiye.

Emphasizing the rapidly increasing interest in e-sports, Koçyiğit continued:

"E-sports, these strategy games played on computers and consoles, have become the most popular games among young people in the last few years. It is a branch where professional athletes with jerseys, sponsorships, and a serious fan base come together in a virtual environment. Millions of people open their screens to watch the battle of strategy, reflexes, and intelligence in a virtual world.

Fans fill arenas, cheering their teams on for their final fights. In a very short time, the game transformed into a sport with professional leagues in America, Europe, Korea, China, and Southeast Asia with millions of fans, with all the matches broadcast live throughout the season. The situation is no different in Türkiye. The Türkiye Grand Finals were held in the Ülker Sports Arena in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Tickets for the event sold out shortly after they went on sale. The finals were broadcast live on the official broadcasters YouTube/Twitch as well as Lig TV. 27 million people play this virtual strategy game every day, and last year's final match was watched by 370 million people. The match was broadcast live by 23 broadcasters in 18 languages in an unforgettable event for digital game fans."

Football clubs have also discovered e-sports

Pointing out that major football clubs have also discovered this area recently, Koçyiğit said, "Big clubs such as Fenerbahçe, Beşiktaş, and Galatasaray have established their own e-sports teams. One of the players in this development is Riot Games, the owner of the League of Legends game, who opened its offices in Türkiye in 2012. Since then, we have worked to introduce and spread the e-sports concept to wider audiences. Perhaps the most important of these was the establishment of the Championship League, the first professional esports league in Türkiye, which launched in early 2015. All professional players in this league are licensed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. This is an important indication that the league is taken seriously, and that it is respected in corporate terms.”

About League of Legends
The concept of e-sports, led by countries such as China and Korea, is followed by large masses in Europe and America thanks to professional leagues. In Korea, for example, 40,000 people can fill a stadium for the LoL World Finals. The Turkish finals for the same game can bring 12,000 fans to Ülker Sports Arena.

E-sports economy

Developments in technology and Internet infrastructure increase the accessibility and variety of games. Digital games and esports are sectors with rapid growth potential in Türkiye. There are nearly 30 million players in Türkiye, and the game market is expected to reach US$ 500 million. According to research company Super Data, the game industry, including consoles, hardware, and software, closed 2016 with US$ 91 billion revenue worldwide. The e-sports market had a revenue of US$ 892 million in 2016, attracting the attention of broadcasters, TV executives, and advertisers in particular.

Income distribution

Looking at income distribution, US$ 213.8 million comes from viewers, US$ 78.3 million comes from prize pools, and US$ 662 million comes from the brands. The Esports' revenue of US$ 892.4 million in 2016 is expected to increase to US$ 1.1 billion by the end of 2017 and US$ 1.4 billion by the end of 2019.

Audience records broken

The ratings for the League of Legends World Championship and Dota finals surpassed some NBA and NFL matches. There is a similar trend in Türkiye. Other than some special events, LoL matches have become some of the most watched sports content after football. An average of 30,000 people watch matches in the Turkish Championship League. The 2016 World Championship reached 14.7 million viewers, the highest number so far. The number of single viewers for the final (that lasted a few hours) was recorded at 43 million. More than 23 broadcasters aired this important event in 18 different languages.

Football and basketball also join the e-sports world

Beşiktaş established a world-first in 2015 by signing a licensing agreement with an existing team in the Championship League. In October 2016, Fenerbahçe founded its own e-sports team with the name "1907 Fenerbahçe". Galatasaray joined them in December 2016 with "Galatasaray e-sports". Karşıyaka, one of İzmir's long-established clubs, announced its e-sports team in January 2017.

There are various examples of this around the world. Schalke 04, which competed in the Europa League in 2016, and PSG also joined this group of clubs. In January 2017, the Miami Heat became the latest international brand to announce its new esports team.

What is League of Legends and how is it played?

  1. It's an online strategy game
  2. The main goal is to seize the opponent's field
  3. It has more than 130 different characters
  4. Each team has 5 members
  5. Top corridor, forester, mid corridor, attack damage carry, support
  6. The leading country of the game is South Korea


  1. Most played online game
  2. More than 100 million registered players
  3. 27 million players daily
  4. The predominant age of the players is between 14-28
  5. 2016 final - 370 million people / 23 broadcasters in 18 languages


  1. Most played online game
  2. 3 million players
  3. Age range is in line with the world, 14-28
  4. The 2014, 2015, and 2016 finals were held at Ülker Sports Arena.
  5. 750,000 people watched the 2016 TBF broadcast on YouTube.
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