US sportswear giant Nike has signed its first-ever endorsement deal with an esports athlete through a partnership with the Chinese League of Legends player Jian ‘Uzi’ Zihao.
The tie-up will see Zihao, who represents the Royal Never Give Up (RNG) team, star alongside National Basketball Association (NBA) icon LeBron James and Chinese actor Bai Jingting to promote the former’s ‘Dribble &’ marketing campaign to support his upcoming ‘Shut up and dribble’ Showtime series.
The launch of the partnership saw Zihao sporting a black t-shirt adorned with the text ‘Dribble & Carry’, with the word ‘carry’ being a term commonly used in League of Legends to refer to a single player pushing their team to victory.
Zihao, 21, is widely regarded as one of the best League of Legends players in the world, and recently won a gold medal in the title at the Asian Games in Jakarta, where competitive gaming was included for the first time as a demonstration event. Chinese state television broadcaster CCTV aired a documentary about Zihao’s esports career before his appearance at the Games.
Zihao’s team RNG has also signed a number of non-endemic commercial deals in recent times, partnering with both German car giant Mercedes and fast food chain KFC.
This story was automated generated, the editorial team was not a part of this.