- Fashion brand Louis Vuitton and video game developer/esports tournament organizer Riot Games have announced a partnership, starting with the 2019 League of Legends World Championships, according to an announcement.
- For the Championships, Vuitton is creating a one-of-a-kind Trophy Travel Case for holding the world champions' trophy, called the Summoner's Cup. Vuitton has previously created similar traveling trunks for the FIFA World Cup, the Rugby World Cup and the America’s Cup.
- The partnership also includes the creation of a capsule collection of clothing from Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton's artistic director of women’s collections, as well as in-game digital assets like champion skins.
Louis Vuitton's new partnership continues the brand's embrace of digital endeavors to accompany its physical products and marketing. Along with Gucci, Louis Vuitton was labeled a "Genius" digital performer in a Gartner L2 analysis of luxury fashion brands across website and e-commerce channels, digital marketing, social media and mobile.
The collaboration also sees Louis Vuitton join the rush by leading brands to embrace the video game competitions of esports. The creation of digital assets like champion skins will give the fashion brand visibility to an audience that is might seem outside its usual customer base. Chinese consumers could be one of the audiences being targeted with this partnership as the Louis Vuitton brand has seen strong growth in China, where the esports market is growing and the luxury segment is strong. "League of Legends," in particular, is very popular in China. In North America, "League of Legends" says it has the top esports viewership, boasting 1.1 million average daily unique viewers and 26 million hours of viewing during the full 2018 season.
As esports are showing a growth rate of 14% year-over-year, global brands have been flocking to the video game competitions, including State Farm, Procter & Gamble's Gillette, Red Bull and Unilever's Axe. Previously, Honda became the exclusive automotive sponsor of the Riot Games League of Legends Championship Series, with includes several content and advertising opportunities.
Louis Vuitton's digital push has come to many channels and platforms. The brand last year launched its LV Virtual Advisor chatbot on Facebook Messenger, using tech from mode.ai. The bot was designed to suggest "an ideal item or help with logistical concerns" for customers. It is also one the luxury brands that have recently expanded their presence on the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat, joining Bulgari, Cartier, Coach, Tiffany, Burberry and diamond seller Chow Tai Fook. Meanwhile, Louis Vuitton’s parent company, LVMH Moët Hennessy, has ventured into playable ads with ad developer TreSensa.