- Mastercard, global sponsor for esports game League of Legends (LoL), is partnering with the game's publisher Riot Games, to create in-game micropayments.
- Mastercard also created a co-branded credit and debit cards to drive brand preference within the Riot Games ecosystem, Business Insider reported.
- The payments company has additional plans to integrate one-click purchases in-game, enabling players to maintain an in-game digital wallet connected to their cards.
Mastercard has partnered with Riot Games since 2018, and was the first global sponsor of LoL. The company has sponsored events such as the World Championship, along with the North American domestic league, the LCS. League of Legends is one of the largest esports in the world and produced $1.75 billion dollars in revenue in 2020.
Mastercard is continuing to promote its product through Riot Games' IP and a sweepstake, sticking to a successful strategy they devised years ago. Initially, the partnership began with Mastercard sending 40 boxes to content creators popular in the scene around the world. The boxes were shaped like "hextech chests," an in-game item that contains "skins," or different costumes and colors, for champions.
Currently, players who use a Mastercard credit or debit card, and keep the card on file linked to their account, will automatically be entered in a sweepstakes, where a grand prize winner will receive $250 of in-game currency and a mystery merchandise box.
In 2019, Marketing Dive reported the goal of the hextech chest advertising was to be transparent and open with the audience, citing the fact that Twitch, the premiere streaming platform for both general consumers and companies producing esports, had a younger than usual audience. Twitch executive Nathan Lindberg, senior director of sponsorships, said that, "Everybody today feels like Gen Z millennials are anti-advertising ... they just want transparency."