TNL eSports Brand Tracker 007: FedEx and Madden NFL

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 007: FEDEX AND EA SPORTS MADDEN NFL

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 007: FedEx and EA Sports Madden NFL (Photo: EA Sports)

TNL Take: This one is borderline but I'm going to include it in the TNL Brand Tracker for now.

Outside of the huge presence that McDonalds had during this past weekend's Madden Bowl in Houston, I happened to also notice another big Non-Endemic Brand: FedEx.

FedEx is a NFL partner and has had previous partnerships with Madden including delivering free copies of Madden 17 to unsuspecting fans during this year's launch.

Madden Ultimate Team was also the game mode played in the Madden Bowl and that's another area that FedEx is involved with:

FedEx and Madden Ultimate Team (Photo: EA Sports)

Sponsored rewards has shown to provide effective ROI and positive brand sentiment for years within the gaming space. FedEx was also shown alongside the McDonald's Ultimate Team packs and rewards in game.

In a smart integration, there is a "FedEx Air 7 Ground" Player of the Week in the NFL, which is also part of the Madden 17 promotion and allows players to upload their highlights to be voted on to win.

FedEx Air & Ground Plays of the Week (Photo: EA Sports)

While this maybe a hybrid of in game/eSports Sponsorship, any Fortune 500 companies investing in the space is a good thing.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 006: Nestle Peters Maxibon and Avant Gaming

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 006: MAXIBON AND AVANT GAMING

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 006: Maxibon and Avant Gaming (Photo: Avant Gaming)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 006: Maxibon and Avant Gaming (Photo: Avant Gaming)

TNL Take: I recently mentioned that the CPG Ad category should see big growth within eSports this year.

Based on January alone, CPG is the leading Ad category for eSports investment in 2017.

Recently, Australian eSports team Avant Gaming announced their partnership with Peters Maxibon, an ice cream Brand whose parent company is Nestle.

This is Australia's 2nd Non-Endemic Brand investment after St. George's Bank last year and the first in CPG - or FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Good) as they say Down Under.

This is also not Nestle's first eSports investment having done 2 programs with their Hot Pockets Brand last year.

Outside of being included on Avant Gaming's Twitter and Jersey, further details were not revealed.

Although I hope next time their sponsored content is better than the announcement video.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 005: Dollar Shave Club and ELEAGUE

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 005: DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB AND ELEAGUE

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 005: Dollar Shave Club and ELEAGUE (Photo: ELEAGUE Twitch)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 005: Dollar Shave Club and ELEAGUE (Photo: ELEAGUE Twitch)

TNL Take: Most young men start shaving around the age of 15.

Assuming a life expectancy of 80, that's 65 years of potential revenue, with a ridiculous LTV (Lifetime Value) and makes sense for CPG Brands to invest in eSports with the core male audience.

Looks like Dollar Shave Club is doing just that.

During last week's ELEAGUE Major, I noticed their Sponsorship during the Finals match between Astralis and Virtus Pro in the screenshot above.

There was no PR from Turner or Dollar Shave Club on this, so not much more info or details on the partnership. Dollar Shave Club isn't a small Brand either having been bought by behemoth Unilever last year for a cool Billion.

This isn't Unilever's first foray into eSports having sponsored eSports teams Cloud9 and Team Solo Mid via their Axe Brand investment.

Axe Sponsors Cloud9 and Team Solo Mid (Photo: Twitch)

2017 will be the year that CPG Brands break out as a leading Ad vertical.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 004: Audi and Astralis

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 004: AUDI AND ASTRALIS

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 004: Audi and Astralis (Photo: Astralis)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 004: Audi and Astralis (Photo: Astralis)

Astralis Sneak Preview Tweet (Photo: @mannyanekal Twitter)

Astralis Confirms Audi Partnership (Photo: Astralis)

While few details of the partnership have been revealed, the team and Athlete's Social Media accounts have been doing plenty of promotion with Astralis even being chauffeured to this weekend's ELEAGUE Major in the Audi Q7:

Astralis Rolling In The Audi Q7 To The ELEAGUE Major (Photo: Astralis)

There were also some rumors of a $750,000 price tag.

I'm calling BS on that number.

Currently the partnership is only for the current ELEAGUE Major and DreamHack Las Vegas next month. Considering this deal came through Audi Denmark and looks to be a very short promotion, the $750,000 figure is way too high.

This isn't Audi's first foray into eSports either having sponsored the 24 Hours Of Le Mans event last year.

In The Next Level 012, I analyzed how Auto Brands have been reluctant to sponsor eSports.

The last Auto and eSports team Sponsorship was between Nissan and Team Curse/Team Liquid which started in 2013 - but no longer.

As more Auto Brands like Audi, Ford, Hyundai, Michelin, Mobil1, Uber, and Turtle Wax continue to invest in eSports, hopefully 2017 will bring more into the eSports ecosystem.