TNL eSports Brand Tracker 027: Mountain Dew

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 027: MOUNTAIN DEW

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 027: Mountain Dew (Photo: Pepsi)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 027: Mountain Dew (Photo: Pepsi)

Brand Feature Writer: James Kozachuk

TNL Take: Mountain Dew is synonymous with gaming. So much so that it can often be found being sold beside various video games at department stores and right next to the Doritos bags.

Mt. Dew Branded Xbox (Photo: Wikipedia)

Mt. Dew Branded Xbox (Photo: Wikipedia)

But then why was Mountain Dew not all-in on eSports?

Well, it might have something to do with how they were a sponsor of the failed Championship Gaming Series (CGS).

But that's starting to change and Mountain Dew is back in a big way.

Taking over sponsorship of a long-standing tournament, three well-known teams, and a few extra activations here and there. We'll tackle each of these initatives one by one.

Mountain Dew League (Photo: ESEA)

Mountain Dew League (Photo: ESEA)

MOUNTAIN DEW LEAGUE (MDL)

ESEA has been a staple in the CounterStrike community for quite literally decades. The organization provides competitions at multiple levels of play, where placement in each of their leagues allows a team to graduate (or relegate) between their tournaments. The ESEA Proleague is comprised of the best of the best teams, but right below this league is their Premier League, a place for up-and-coming rising star types.

And that's what Mountain Dew just put their name on. The Mountain Dew League (or MDL) is essentially a rebranding of the ESEA Premier League. $125,000 in prizing on the line, multiple seasons, winners seeding directly into the ESL Proleague. There's true storylines being built here: Steve Aoke's eSports team RogueGG won the first season, and Roger Saffold's eSports team Rise Nation is the top seed in the third season.

Mountain Dew Sponsors 3 eSports Teams (Photo: Splyce)

Mountain Dew Sponsors 3 eSports Teams (Photo: Splyce)

3 TEAM SPONSORSHIP: TEAM DIGNITAS, SPLYCE AND SK GAMING

In June, Mountain Dew announced their sponsorship of three major teams within eSports: the Team Dignitas (Philadelphia 76'ers) , Splyce (Boston Bruins via Delaware North), and SK Gaming. 

SK Gaming is among the longest-standing eSports teams in history. There's no wonder why Mountain Dew wanted to align with the brand.

Both Team Dignitas and Splyce are also aligned with pro sports teams and venues , which is a healthy add to additional partnerships.

[Edit: I'd bet that Mountain Dew will be the official Beverage Sponsor of the upcoming NBA 2K ELEAGUE]

Firstborn agency's Answer The Call digital spot for DEW x NBA

Neither of these teams have Mountain Dew affiliated athletes, unlike Team Liquid/the Wizards/Bradley Beal, Misfits/Miami Heat/Justise Windslow, or Flyquest/Bucks/Giannis Antetokounmpo.

With the amount of resources Mountain Dew has put into their previous NBA player marketing campaigns, I'd love to see something at that scale with their new eSports teams.

Esports and UFC Influencers partner with Mountain Dew and OriginPC for RIG UP! (Photo: Twitter)

Esports and UFC Influencers partner with Mountain Dew and OriginPC for RIG UP! (Photo: Twitter)

OriginPC RIG UP!

In the age when all major agencies are pushing their clients towards branded content like professionally produced Snapchat/Instagram stories, we need to be able to sell that idea within eSports.

How about a "Twitch Show?" Sure. Throw a bunch of influencers in a room for a few weeks, crosspromote your brand with another, and you've got it.

Fans of Dyrus, ZombiUnicorn, OpTicDi3seL, Christian Spicer (Comedian), and Demetrious Johnson (UFC) vote on computer parts to be installed into a computer rig to be given away at the end of the eight-week stream. 

It's apparently the formula for over a million views and ten-thousand followers on TwitchTV alone within two months.

Pepsi's Long Relationship With India Continues (Photo: Pepsico India)

Pepsi's Long Relationship With India Continues (Photo: Pepsico India)

EVERYTHING ELSE

To round out Mountain Dew's activities in eSports within the last year we have a competition for Singapore, Malaysia, and India called the "Mountain Dew Arena." 

They've also partnered up with another brand who is quickly becoming an endemic brand in the space, Arby's, with an exclusive beverage on tap, "Mountain Dew Game Fuel Citrus Cherry." 

 

Mountain Dew has really picked up the pace within the last year. Their work in North America/Europe is authentic and can have strong stories built around it. With a successful push, Pepsi's multiple brands are leading eSports investment and might open the floodgates for even more brands to enter the space.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 026: Dr. Pepper

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 026: DR. PEPPER

Dr. Pepper All Star Tournament (Photo: Dr. Pepper Germany)

Dr. Pepper All Star Tournament (Photo: Dr. Pepper Germany)

Brand Feature Writer: James Kozachuk

The first part of a series looking at recent investment by Beverage Brands within eSports.

 

TNL Take: Dr. Pepper's involvement in eSports is reminiscent of another brand we have highlighted in the TNL Brand Tracker - Bic - when we looked at Gillette.

Both brands dominated eSports advertising in the old days of MLG. With flashy booths, gamers on Dr. Pepper cans, personally sponsored a number of players (Kiwikaki, Pistola, Tsquared, Roy), and even hosted their own co-branded web-series, the "Dr. Pepper Ultimate Gaming House." 

Dr. Pepper was clearly ahead of other brands.

Dr. Pepper POPUP Display at MLG Anaheim 2012 (Photo: Impulse Gamer)

Dr. Pepper POPUP Display at MLG Anaheim 2012 (Photo: Impulse Gamer)

Since then, however, we haven't seen Dr. Pepper do much within the scene.

Tsquared Dr. Pepper on 175 Million Bottles in 2008-2009 (Photo: New York Times)

Tsquared Dr. Pepper on 175 Million Bottles in 2008-2009 (Photo: New York Times)

Except Dr. Pepper has been relentlessly advertising within the German eSports scene.

Since 2012, the brand has run their "Dr. Pepper All Star Tournament" series, and have just recently announced their sponsorship of one of the leading German professional teams "Mouseports."

Dr. Pepper signs agreement with Mousesports in May 2017 (Photo: Mousesports)

Dr. Pepper signs agreement with Mousesports in May 2017 (Photo: Mousesports)

The interesting aspect is that both of these activations have been in partnership with Dr. Pepper Germany. A quick trip to the Dr. Pepper Germany website highlights just how important gaming and eSports is to their marketing efforts:

All, Stuff, Deal Finder, and Gaming (Photo: Dr. Pepper Germany)

All, Stuff, Deal Finder, and Gaming (Photo: Dr. Pepper Germany)

So why is specifically the German distributor of Dr. Pepper so invested in eSports? There's a few potential reasons:

/01 German eSports is incredibly organic and has built itself up slowly, but strongly, into a global powerhouse. Dr. Pepper was pushed very strongly within the United States in the earlier years of eSports and Dr. Pepper has been authentically reaching the German eSports audience during this growth process. With the Mousesports sponsorship they're ready to expand their reach at a more international level.

/02 I've been skirting around Dr. Pepper Germany's "distributor" throughout this article because in the United States Dr. Pepper is distributed through the Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group.

Within Germany however, Dr. Pepper is solely distributed through The Coca-Cola Company. We haven't seen the former activate in eSports for years, but Coca-Cola has been dominating the eSports advertising scene lately.

Coca-Cola Battlefy Partnership in 2016 (Photo: Battlefy)

Coca-Cola Battlefy Partnership in 2016 (Photo: Battlefy)

With the sponsorship of Mousesports, there's a potential for their success internationally.

 

Perhaps this will finally bring Dr. Pepper USA back into eSports? Will be very interesting to see their ROI.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 025: Vodafone and Mousesports

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 025: VODAFONE AND MOUSESPORTS

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 025: Vodafone and Mousesports (Photo: Mousesports)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 025: Vodafone and Mousesports (Photo: Mousesports)

TNL Take: No you're not seeing double.

Yes, Vodafone announced their renewal of their partnership with G2 eSports.

Vodafone looks to double down on their European investment by also sponsoring team Mousesports

Vodafone will be involved with all of Mousesports teams, which includes Counter-Strike, Street Fighter V, Dota 2 teams and Vainglory, the usual branded content and exclusively on Vodafone's "Featured" magazine.

 

Yes this deal focuses on Vodafone's high speed broadband access but the lines between a mobile, internet, and content are quickly being blurred.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 024: G2 eSports and Vodafone

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 024: G2 ESPORTS AND VODAFONE

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 024: G2 eSports and Vodafone (Photo: G2 eSports)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 024: G2 eSports and Vodafone (Photo: G2 eSports)

TNL Take: Top European team G2 eSports was one of the earliest Western teams to get sponsored by a Telco having worked with Vodafone last year with their League of Legends team.

G2 eSports has now extended their partnership on a global scale, in addition to adding a Vodafone CS:GO roster to their squad.

G2 eSports Vodafone Counter-Strike Team (Photo: G2 eSports)

G2 eSports Vodafone Counter-Strike Team (Photo: G2 eSports)

Vodafone also launched a TV show on MTV that gave a peek into the lives of G2 Vodafone players.

What you have in your pocket or purse is the most powerful communication device ever invented to date.

 

It's shocking that more Telco brands's haven't invested in eSports considering it's literally their exact target audience and that Purchase Intent vs. Traditional Sports is higher. Come on in, the water is warm.