TNL Esports Brand Tracker 003: Snickers

TNL Take: Snickers has long been involved with gaming sponsorships and has had a strong relationship with EA Madden NFL going back to the 2010 game.

Snickers In EA Madden NFL 15 (Photo: EA Sports)

Snickers In EA Madden NFL 15 (Photo: EA Sports)

Snickers has also been partnering on the mobile gaming side of things with another integration in this years EA Madden NFL 18 Mobile.

Snickers In EA Madden Mobile 18 (Photo: EA Sports)

Snickers In EA Madden Mobile 18 (Photo: EA Sports)

EA Madden NFL Club Series (Photo: EA Sports)

EA Madden NFL Club Series (Photo: EA Sports)

Snickers and FlyQuest Sports (Photo: FlyQuest Sports)

Snickers and FlyQuest Sports (Photo: FlyQuest Sports)

The sponsorship includes all of FlyQuest teams and is made up of several elements including:

  • Jersey placement
  • Team House presence
  • MVP of the Match
  • Onsite fan activations
  • Branded content
  • Weekly Fan Voting

Interesting that Snickers Sr. Brand Manager Michael Italia said that they were looking for teams "committed to League of Legends and Rocket League".

Now that teams are locked for the NA LCS, we will hopefully see more unique brand integrations to come.

NETGEAR Partners With Overwatch League Team Seoul Dynasty

TNL Take: With Overwatch League set to debut today there was a flurry of news during yesterday's Media day including a 2-year Twitch distribution deal as well as another brand partner.

Earlier this week with the launch of Nighthawk® Pro Gaming (NPG) , NETGEAR is establishing deeper ties with the esports community and struck a partnership deal with Overwatch League team Seoul Dynasty.

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While the Nighthawk brand was established in 2013, this is the first major investment by NETGEAR to focus primarily on the esports and Pro marketplace mentioned KSV Esports, the parent company of Seoul Dynasty.

"Netgear is well aligned with Seoul Dynasty - we both share an obsessive focus on performance. We are both committed to do all we can to enable our players to perform at their very best" said KSV Esports co-founder and COO Kent Wakeford speaking with The Next Level.

Interesting to note: Of the 4 deals closed with Overwatch League (HP and Intel for the League), Jack in the Box for Dallas Fuel and now NETGEAR for Seoul Dynasty, 3 of them are Endemic brands.

Now that OWL distribution is locked in, hopefully will become easier for both the league and teams to attract Non-Endemic brands.

TNL Esports Brand Tracker 002: Coca-Cola

TNL Take: Coca-Cola continues its tradition of esports brand integration by working again with publishers and theaters to hold viewing parties. They have previously done this for the League of Legends Finals and the Overwatch launch.

This year Coca-Cola partnered with publisher Hi-Rez Studios for the Smite 2018 Championship which occurred this past Sunday.

Coca-Cola Smite Viewing Party (Photo: Regal Cinemas)

Coca-Cola Smite Viewing Party (Photo: Regal Cinemas)

Two interesting points on this partnership. Previously, there had been a minimum number of tickets that needed to be purchased for the esports event to happen. After checking a few of the theaters, this requirement has been removed for the Smite Championship.

Second, the swag that was given out previously were branded cups or thundersticks.

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For this partnership, Coca-Cola and Hi-Rez will be giving out thundersticks in addition to exclusive digital items that were given to those that attended Hi-Rez's expo last week. This is super smart to include the same exclusive items for those that weren't able to travel to the expo.

I'd expect going forward, Coca-Cola and their publisher partners will continue to push both physical and digital goods with their their viewing parties.

TNL Esports Brand Tracker 001: Progressive

TNL Take: As we start the new year, time to reset the Brand Tracker for 2018.

Kicking off this year, was Progressive's continued partnership with the Esports Arena based in California. Progressive held several programs there last year and started things off in 2018 with a 24-hour "Hearthstone Rat Race: Race to Legend" event.

The integration included on site placement as seen in the cover image along with signage in game:

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Followed by promotion across social channels as well:

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Nothing extraordinary with the integration but as always great to see a blue chip brand like Progressive continuing to make investment within esports.

While GEICO has owned mindshare within Insurance for esports, 2018 could see the brand category become one of the fastest growing.