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.