TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 020: 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.
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.
That ended in June 2016, when Gillette tested the waters with a Gfinity partnership to host a Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) event in the UK.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
Gillette's strategy also closely follows that of GEICO and how they've place their eSports bets.
Sounds like a good strategy to me.