Santander signs three-year sponsorship deal with LEC and LLA

By Tobias Seck
Riot Games

Spanish financial services company Banco Santander announced Tuesday that it’s doubling down on esports as a main sponsor of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) and Liga Latinoamérica (LLA). The multiyear partnership agreement with the LEC and the LLA is a 100% digital media agreement that will complement the bank’s other global sponsorships in Formula One and soccer. SportFive Spain brought the deal to the LEC business development. Financial details of the partnerships were not disclosed.

The partnership was announced during an event hosted in Madrid presented by LEC caster Aaron “Medic” Chamberlain. Spanish streamer Cristina “Cristinini” López Pérez broadcast the 35-minute event, featuring musicians Nicki Nicole, Chuty and Sara Socas, as well as several League of Legends players on Twitch with a peak viewership of just over 6,000.

Through its partnerships with the LEC (the most watched League of Legends league in the West) and LLA, Santander aims to “build a new community and connect with younger generations to help them prosper.” Santander will be on display on a variety of assets to promote the brand and raise awareness in the League of Legends communities during the esports events, including logo placements, dedicated content segments, commercial slots during broadcast breaks, banners, drops and VIP tickets for the finals, among others.

Banco Santander started using global sports sponsorships to raise awareness and provide international brand visibility in the mid-2000s, when the bank became a sponsor of F1 team McLaren in 2007 with the arrival of driver Fernando Alonso before moving to Ferrari with the Spaniard in 2010. It began sponsoring the largest club soccer competition in Latin America, the CONMEBOL Libertadores in 2008.

Since its first sports sponsorships, the bank also became the title sponsor for the Spanish soccer league La Liga for a season, sponsored three seasons of the UEFA Champions League, and returned to F1 after its exodus in 2017 with a premium sponsorship of Ferrari (last year, Ferrari hired its first Spanish driver since Alonso left in 2014 with Carlos Sainz) earlier this year. Santander also was the title sponsor of several Formula Grand Prix before 2017, including the Spanish GP from 2011-13 and the British GP from 2007-14.

As the title sponsor of the Spanish soccer league’s esports competition, Virtual LaLiga eSports Santander, the bank made its step into esports sponsorship. Earlier this year, Santander entered major League of Legends esports through a five-year partnership with the Brazilian Campeonato Brasileiro de League of Legends (CBLoL). Previously, Santander also supported the Spanish European Regional League Superliga through its digital banking brand Openbank since 2021.

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