TNL Esports Brand Tracker 006: State Farm

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State Farm will sponsor the 2018 NA LCS, World Championship, Mid-Season Invitational, and All-Star Event.  In addition, there's also a State Farm Analyst desk offering expected analysis and play breakdowns. 

Anytime a traditional sports brand enters esports is a win for the space and future ad deals.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 020: Gillette

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 020: GILLETTE

Gillette Invests In eSports (Photo: Gillette)

Gillette Invests In eSports (Photo: 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.

Gillette at ESL Katowice (Photo: Kotaku)

Gillette at ESL Katowice (Photo: Kotaku)

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.

MLG Starcraft II Prizefights, sponsored by Bic (Photo: Team Liquid)

MLG Starcraft II Prizefights, sponsored by Bic (Photo: Team Liquid)

The Gillette Championship (Source: Gfinity)

The Gillette Championship (Source: Gfinity)

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 xPeke

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.

Gillette's "Within Reach" commercial is joked as xPeke's "Sellout" video (Source: YouTube)

/2 TOURNAMENTS

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 Gillette Activation at IEM Katowice (Photo: YouTube)

A Gillette Activation at IEM Katowice (Photo: YouTube)

/3 CONTENT

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.

Compete NYC HQ Street Fighter V event (Source: Compete)

Compete NYC HQ Street Fighter V event (Source: Compete)

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. 

Banner advertisement on Kotaku/Deadspin Compete. (Source: Compete)

Banner advertisement on Kotaku/Deadspin Compete. (Source: Compete)

Gillette's strategy also closely follows that of GEICO and how they've place their eSports bets.

Sounds like a good strategy to me.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 039: GEICO and Team SoloMid

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 039: GEICO

Geico eSports Web Series Featuring TSM (Photo: Geico)

TNL Take: I’m a huge fan of GEICO.

GEICO's creative is just amazing because they do the one thing that most Brands are afraid of:

Take Risk.

Who would have guessed a camel talking about Hump Day on a Wednesday would be shared almost 4M times making it GEICO's most viral video?

Ice-T at a Lemonade stand? Genius.

GEICO has supported top North American eSports team Team SoloMid (TSM) for over a year now and looks like their partnership has been renewed.

Over the past month, GEICO has released a Web series exclusively dedicated to their TSM Sponsorship.

And true to GEICO's form - they're hilarious.

Not only is GEICO looking to be included in the 2016 TNL Top 5 Brands; checking the current TNL eSports Brand Tracker which hit 040, Geico is currently the only Insurance Brand to invest in eSports.

The 2016 US Market for Auto Insurance alone is a quarter Trillion dollars.

GEICO is planting an early leadership stake in eSports.