TNL eSports Brand Tracker 020: Gillette

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 020: GILLETTE

Gillette Invests In eSports (Photo: Gillette)

Gillette Invests In eSports (Photo: Gillette)

Is it spelled Razer or Razor?

With how involved the former company is, it's often hard to remember. But now, the razor companies have come to change that.

Gillette at ESL Katowice (Photo: Kotaku)

Gillette at ESL Katowice (Photo: Kotaku)

Razor brands have been sponsoring eSports events for years. In 2012 Major League Gaming (MLG) promoted Bic Flex 4 Razors at their events, in 2013 Dollar Shave Club started supporting streamers and recently sponsored Turner's ELEAGUE - but the largest razor brand was noticeably missing.

MLG Starcraft II Prizefights, sponsored by Bic (Photo: Team Liquid)

MLG Starcraft II Prizefights, sponsored by Bic (Photo: Team Liquid)

The Gillette Championship (Source: Gfinity)

The Gillette Championship (Source: Gfinity)

The eSports battle between Unilever's Dollar Shave Club and Gillette is starting to ramp up.

Gillette has been taking their eSports campaign in three directions:

/1 PLAYERS AND TEAMS

In January 2017, Gillette signed on professional League of Legends player xPeke as their first eSports ambassador. For comparison, Gillette's other ambassadors include Joe Hart (English Footballer), Neymar Jr (Brazillian Footballer), Lionel Messi (Spanish Footballer), Ki Sung-Yueng (South Korean Footballer) ... the list of soccer players goes on.

Gillette xPeke

Gillette doesn't need to field or sponsor their own team as their ambassador program does the job. We've seen this strategy before in eSports - Red Bull is known for their personal sponsorships of Starcraft players and Bud Light did it last year with their All Star program.

Gillette's "Within Reach" commercial is joked as xPeke's "Sellout" video (Source: YouTube)

/2 TOURNAMENTS

Since Dollar Shave Club got ELEAGUE, Gillette went with something comparably big. Gillette also recently signed a deal to sponsor ESL IEM Katowice 2017. IEM Katowice is usually the largest event the company puts on and this year was no different, which extended to two weekends.

Gillette also sponsored the New England Patriots' Madden Club Series Championship. Gillette is a major partner of the Patriots, of which owner Robert Kraft is - cough, rumors, cough -  purchasing an Overwatch League franchise.

A Gillette Activation at IEM Katowice (Photo: YouTube)

A Gillette Activation at IEM Katowice (Photo: YouTube)

/3 CONTENT

A joint-venture between two media publications, Kotaku and Deadspin, was announced on Februrary 2017 to focus on eSports called Compete.

On May 13th, a Gillette-sponsored Street Figher V "Pros vs Joes" event was held at the Compete NYC headquarters.

Compete NYC HQ Street Fighter V event (Source: Compete)

Compete NYC HQ Street Fighter V event (Source: Compete)

Gillette's eSports strategy is reminiscent of Red Bull - who also have tons of personal sponsorships, integration with large events, and involvement with a media organization. 

Banner advertisement on Kotaku/Deadspin Compete. (Source: Compete)

Banner advertisement on Kotaku/Deadspin Compete. (Source: Compete)

Gillette's strategy also closely follows that of GEICO and how they've place their eSports bets.

Sounds like a good strategy to me.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 019: McLaren

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 019: MCLAREN

McLaren Enters eSports (Photo: YouTube)

McLaren Enters eSports (Photo: YouTube)

TNL Take: McLaren has opened up a new job role: they're looking to fill the "best job in eSports," or a one-year gig working as a McLaren simulator driver, through a competition to find the World's Fastest Gamer.

While the real "best job in eSports" is obviously giving hot-takes about the various Brands entering the scene and terrible research reports, we can humor them a bit.

World's Fastest Gamer Ad (Video: YouTube)

The World Fastest Gamer will pit 10 aspiring racing players against each other in a series of matches, engineering challenges, and their demonstration of teamwork. 6 will be invited to the event, while 4 will qualify through various online competitions.

World's Fasest Gamer Video (Video: YouTube)

The campaign was set in place by agency IDEAS+CARS (who launched professional team eSPORTS+CARS last year), which was founded by Darren Cox of GT Academy fame. For reference, GT Academy was a 2008-2016 television competition by Nissan and Playstation in which the year's winner got a job as a professional racer for Nissan.

Where have we heard that before?

GT Academy (Source: ilvideogioco)

GT Academy (Source: ilvideogioco)

The other partners for this event are LogitechG, who are pushing their steering wheel peripherals, Sparco, who were the gaming chair sponsor for the FIFA Ultimate Tournament this year, and GIVEMESPORT, the event's media sponsor.

Sparco FIFA Ultimate Team Sponsorship (Photo: Sparco)

Sparco FIFA Ultimate Team Sponsorship (Photo: Sparco)

Interesting to note is that the games for the competition have not been named, but will span PC, console, and mobile titles.

With the Sparco sponsorship and EA having a Racing title, will all the games be only from EA as this helps with both securing permission to run the competition and unifying the brand?

2015 McLaren 650S Coupe in Forza Horizon 3 (Photo: Forza)

2015 McLaren 650S Coupe in Forza Horizon 3 (Photo: Forza)

Racing games are a neglected topic among eSports viewers and players. The "premier" titles are iRacing and Project CARS, for their strict focus on competition and skill. Unfortunately almost any decision on game titles for this event, especially the inclusion of mobile, will be a polarizing one.

Racing games are tough from a viewership perspective but good from a casual fan viewpoint. 

It's a good genre for McLaren to invest in to preserve their traditional fanbase while growing a new one as the Auto Brands come cruising into eSports this year.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 018: Burger King and Playstation

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 018: BURGER KING AND PLAYSTATION

Burger King Esports

Burger King now has delivery.  

Technically it's been a service the fast food has provided in select markets since early 2012, but the news is making headlines due to a recent eSports related promotion by Burger King's Spanish division.

#BurgerClan Video Ad (Video: YouTube)

Developed by Burger King Spain's Digital Strategy agency, LOLA MullenLowe, the April Fools Day ad "#BurgerClan" is a collaboration between Burger King and Playstation.

#BurgerClan Video Ad (Video: YouTube)

The Burger Clan is a group of professional gamers who "sneak into" online PS4 matches and take Burger King delivery orders from players signed up to the service.

Burger Clan player list (Photo: Burger Clan Website)

Burger Clan player list (Photo: Burger Clan Website)

Call of Duty orders are taken by @Glaaix and @Bukarioo from Team MRN eSports, FIFA by former G2 player @FerperryFIFA or Giants Gaming players @Alfonso11Ramos and @xGalloso, and any other game titles by Movistar Riders player @F7Sammy.

€9.99 minimum order (Photo: Burger Clan website)

€9.99 minimum order (Photo: Burger Clan website)

This is a great way to market towards the global gaming audience, track and drive real transactions and still gives a great hat tip to the eSports crowd.

Burger Clan Steps (Photo: Ad Week)

Burger Clan Steps (Photo: Ad Week)

The service runs every Friday to Sunday from April 28 to May 21.

According to Ad Age, the Burger Clan will be expanding out to "other key markets in the near future." If done right... Burger King will get to plant their stake in the QSR category that has to date been dominated by pizza brands and Arby's in eSports to date.

Some of the QSR/Restaurant brands that have taken the plunge into eSports:

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 017: Spectrum and Madden Pro Team Club Series

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 017: SPECTRUM AND MADDEN CLUB SERIES

Spectrum Video Ad During Madden Pro Team Club Series (Photo: YouTube)

Spectrum Video Ad During Madden Pro Team Club Series (Photo: YouTube)

TNL Take: Charter has been scaling up their involvement in traditional sports, especially due to their acquisition of brands with past sports sponsorships.

As a partner of the Kansas City Chiefs, Time Warner Cable worked with the NFL franchise to create a “Hall of Honor” within Arrowhead Stadium. With Time Warner Cable’s acquisition of Charter, which is now under the Spectrum Brand...

Rotating banner advertisement (Photo: YouTube)

Rotating banner advertisement (Photo: YouTube)

Spectrum is everywhere, even eSports.

Spectrum Replay Advertisement (Photo: YouTube)

Spectrum Replay Advertisement (Photo: YouTube)

They should be within eSports as a large amount of their rights to broadcast traditional sports events is a natural connection.

Spectrum Countdown Advertisement (Photo: YouTube)

Spectrum Countdown Advertisement (Photo: YouTube)

While their involvement in the Madden Club Series wasn’t huge, it’s still an interesting step.

Spectrum Placement In Player Camera (Photo: Kansas City Chiefs)

Spectrum Placement In Player Camera (Photo: Kansas City Chiefs)

With ATT's acquisition of Time-Warner (home to Turner's ELEAGUE) last year, there's precedence for more cable providers to enter the eSports space.