Bird & Bird advises Riot Games on its ground-breaking esports partnership with Nike


International law firm Bird & Bird has advised Riot Games, the video game developer and esports tournament organiser, on its ground-breaking partnership with Nike.

This partnership marks a significant moment for esports as it is Nike's first major deal in the sector. Under the partnership Nike will produce fan apparel and merchandise and will also provide apparel and footwear for all teams, casters, event staff and officials in the professional League of Legends Pro League (LPL) in China.

Our gaming, sports and media team in Asia Pacific who advised on the deal was led by Alex Norman and Rich Hawkins, with assistance from Hank Leung and Serena Du

Riot Games is a long standing and valued client of Bird & Bird's Hong Kong and China team and Bird & Bird is delighted to be able to showcase its esports credentials on such a landmark transaction.

Rich Hawkins, sports and media partner at Bird & Bird, comments,"We were delighted to be involved in this ground-breaking deal for one of our key clients. The partnership between Riot Games and Nike is undoubtedly one of the most important deals in the esports sector to date. Like everything in esports, the deal happened extremely quickly, and there was no time for learning on the run! It was a great opportunity to showcase both our esports expertise and our experience of apparel sponsorships in traditional sports. We'd like to thank Riot for the opportunity to be involved and congratulate them on putting together such a fantastic deal with one of the world's great sports and lifestyle brands"

Emi Zhao, head of legal at Riot Games China says:"I really enjoy working with the team at Bird & Bird, who were able to react quickly and expertly to the needs of the deal. Their expert advice and in depth knowledge of the esports, sport and media sectors was crucial to getting this deal over the line. We have worked with the team at Bird & Bird on a number of projects over the years and we look forward to working together again in future."