TNL Esports Brand Tracker 008: Bud Light

TNL Take: 2016 saw Bud Light make its first foray into esports with their All-Stars sponsorship. While that program wasn't perfect, Bud Light tripled down on their investment in 2017 with a deeper integration and revamped All-Stars.

To kick off the new year, Bud Light and Collegiate Star League have partnered to bring events to Canadian campuses.

The "End Game,” is a series of fighting game tournaments with a $1,000 prize pool per event.  The tour will hit 8 bars near selected colleges and includes their respective esports club. 


While the program is for only two months, this is Bud Light's second esports partnership in Canada.  With the Canadian drinking age at 19, Bud Light has more leeway for partnerships than in the United States.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 044: Coca-Cola and Battlefy

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 044: Coca-Cola and Battlefy

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 044: Coca-Cola (Photo: Battlefy)

TNL Take: As 2016 starts to wind down thank you - Prince. Bowie. Brexit... - I was going to add Coca-Cola to my "Where Are These Brands?" List.

Just like life and timing, after I spoke at Pepsi’s eSports and Gaming Summit - the company goes on a tear.

Over the past two months, Coca-Cola has now activated across 4 different eSports/Gaming programs:

Coca-Cola and ESWC in Paris Games Week

Coca-Cola and League of Legends Movie Viewing Parties

and now the #eCopa FIFA 17 Tournament on Battlefy.

But the Battlefy partnership is the most interesting because it focuses on a what I believe will be a key piece that will be needed to build the eSports infrastructure in the future:


The #eCopa tournament not only provides a $10,000 prize pool but more importantly, a Wildcard slot in the EA FIFA 17 Ultimate Regional Final.

This is very smart and Ill show you why.

Here's how the qualifications work:

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 044: Coca-Cola (Photo: Battlefy)

Once a student wins his/her own bracket - he or she gets to represent their school at the Regionals.

Now you can start to tie it all together: eSports, Colleges and Brands.

If you need a quick primer, here's what I wrote about it in May.

The biggest question of any Ad spend across any Medium boils down basically to: 1) How many people saw it 2) How did they engage with it and 3) Do they feel better about the brand/want to buy the product.

I'd like to see the results post campaign but a few of the schools I checked didn't have a very high participation rate after the opening rounds closed.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 44: Coca-Cola (Photo: Battlefy)

To be clear, I'm not saying this is a failure by any means - I'm saying the exact opposite.

I would guess that limited marketing was done at schools to educate the students about this opportunity. A minimal spend would have had a huge increase in ROI.

So going back to the success metrics, I hope it's not a one-and-done because it's a big open space.

It's still very early and I'm happy to see Coca-Cola continue its investment into eSports especially in the Collegiate space.

PS Although technically not eSports, Coca-Cola has also partnered with 7-11 with another FIFA 17 promotion for the usual "Buy Something, Get Something" programs that work extremely well.

Coca-Cola and EA Sports FIFA 17 Promotion (Photo: Coca-Cola)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 034: Quest Nutrition and Robert Morris University


TNL eSports Brand Tracker 037: Quest Nutrition (Photo: Quest)

TNL Take: Back in May in The Next Level 008, I looked at the emerging Collegiate eSports opportunity and how Robert Morris University was leading by providing $1M+ worth of eSports scholarships.

Analyzing the horizontal opportunities, Health and Nutrition fit in nicely and I mentioned Quest Nutrition's previous Sponsorship of top eSports squad Team Liquid.


Well it looks like someone listened. 😎


Quest Nutrition announced a partnership with Robert Morris University to incorporate a healthier lifestyle regiment along with Sponsorship of RMU's 5 eSports team encompassing 75 Student Athletes.


This is just the start of a new Brand opportunity within Collegiate eSports.

TNL PREVIEW: I'm almost done with an update to the previous Collegiate analysis and Ill leave this hint:

The number of schools investing in eSports has doubled since I last spoke to the Schools in May.