TNL Esports Brand Tracker 001: Progressive

TNL Take: As we start the new year, time to reset the Brand Tracker for 2018.

Kicking off this year, was Progressive's continued partnership with the Esports Arena based in California. Progressive held several programs there last year and started things off in 2018 with a 24-hour "Hearthstone Rat Race: Race to Legend" event.

The integration included on site placement as seen in the cover image along with signage in game:

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Followed by promotion across social channels as well:

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Nothing extraordinary with the integration but as always great to see a blue chip brand like Progressive continuing to make investment within esports.

While GEICO has owned mindshare within Insurance for esports, 2018 could see the brand category become one of the fastest growing.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 001: Visa and SK Gaming

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 001: Visa and SK Gaming

Visa Sponsors eSports Team SK Gaming (Photo: SK Gaming)

TNL Take: Visa kicks off 2017 by making a big investment in top German eSports team SK Gaming

SK Gaming currently have teams in Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft and Vainglory - but their CS team is the biggest draw sporting 2 of the worlds top players in Brazilians Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo and Marcelo "coldzera" David.  SK Gaming is one of the favorites to win the current ELEAGUE Major.

It's great to see Visa make a big move like this considering their initial move into eSports was with Formula-E - which no one watches.

Visa Sponsors eSports Team SK Gaming (Photo: SK Gaming)

Not much was revealed about the overall partnership outside of an appearance on behalf of Visa at CES a few weeks ago with SK Gaming Counter-Strike Athletes Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo and Epitacio "TACO" de Melo - both of them combined have half a million Twitter followers.

There have been rumors of a price tag of "high six figures" for this partnership - I'd estimate that it was for ~$500,000.

Lara Balazs, Senior Vice President and Head of North American Marketing at Visa told [a]listdaily the following (emphasis mine):

“You have athletes that embody the brand, are digitally savvy, and they’re truly embodying entrepreneurship and taking it to the next level. They’re a terrific addition to our marketing.”

“We’re excited about the possibility of eSports given the interest by millennials and our target consumer"

 

I couldn't agree more Visa.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 023: Universal Pictures and Faceit

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 023: Universal Pictures and Faceit

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 023: Universal Pictures (Photo: Faceit)

TNL Take: While looking into the recent Comcast eSports investment, I came across this dual sponsored Hearthstone tournament on Faceit with Warcraft, a Universal Pictures movie.

As I've said previously, Hearthstone is very similar to Poker, it may not seem exciting, but for those that follow the game, it draws solid viewership and more importantly:

It's Brand safe.

This is also the 2nd Entertainment investment after Sony Pictures and E LEAGUE.