Allan Zhang, general manager of Mobile Esports Department of Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group and co-president of QQ Speed S League, unveiled at the Tencent Global Esports Summit that one of the companies has signed partnership deals with four non-endemic brands, including luxury car Rolls-Royce, McLaren, Sony’s smartphone brand Xperia, and Chinese sportswear brand 361°. All brands were named as partners of the QQ Speed Mobile Asian Cup (QSAC), the top international competition in the QQ Speed esports ecosystem.
Both Rolls-Royce and McLaren will be featured in the QQ Speed esports competitions, and as the in-game vehicle in QQ Speed. Sony Xperia will be the designated smartphone provider provider for the QSAC, while 361° will design exclusive team jerseys for QQ Speed players.
Zhang also stated that the company will promote QQ Speed in grassroots competitions for young players.
“QQ Speed esports competitions have been covered in more than 50 Chinese cities with 4 million total registered players since 2008,” Zhang said. “We have operated over 10,000 QQ Speed competitions, and 80% of players are under the age of 25.”
QQ Speed, while not a game well known in the West, is a popular racing mobile game title in China. It was developed by Tencent’s TiMi Studios, which also developed Honor of Kings and Call of Duty: Mobile.
In July, Tencent sued China’s biggest chili sauce brand Lao Gan Ma (LGM) for 16.24 million yuan ($2.3 million) in unpaid advertising fees for QQ Speed S League. The lawsuit was eventually withdrawn by Tencent with a sincere apology to LGM, and the two companies will partner “for real” in the future.
It should be noted that Zhang mentioned that the company and QQ Speed would like to take social responsibilities for developing culture and innovation sectors in the Chinese city of Guizhou. It’s more likely the partnership between LGM and Tencent will still relate to QQ Speed due to LGM being based in Guizhou, and one of the most iconic brands in the city.