TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 019: MCLAREN
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.