TNL eSports Brand Tracker 008: Subaru Invitational 2017


TNL eSports Brand Tracker 008: Subaru Invitational 2017 (Photo: SubaruEsports TwitchTV)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 008: Subaru Invitational 2017 (Photo: SubaruEsports TwitchTV)

TNL Take: As Don Draper puts it: "an agency is defined when they get their first car." 

While Subaru might not be eSports’ first car--that was locked down by Nissan in 2013 or Audi two months ago--it’s still a significant milestone nonetheless. However, it’s all about the activation: how does Subaru hold up?

Is Subaru driving eSports forward, or are they taking the back seat?

On April 4th, just 76 days after Audi-Astralis’ announcement, Subaru and esports agency Damage Los Angeles stated their intention to organize an invite-only invitational. The event will take place on May 13-14 and feature eight of the top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams in North America competing for $20,000.

The Subaru Invitational 2017 is an effort to promote the 2018 Subaru Impreza. Subaru is also donating $1,000 to the mental health non-profit, Anxiety Gaming.

Damage (Photo: Damage Los Angeles)

Damage (Photo: Damage Los Angeles)

With that in mind, how's the performance?

We’re just over two weeks out from the tournament and there has been no news outside of the initial press release: No way to follow for updates about the event or any way to engage fans leading up to the event. Only a TwitchTV channel has been set up - which hasan offline image repeating the event dates and players from the press release.

(Video: Subaru Youtube)

Also, the Subaru Invitational 2017 is being marketing as a campaign for the “2018 Subaru Impreza”. - but which one?

While it may not seem like a big deal, there are two versions of the Impreza Subaru WRX.

(Photo: SubaruEsports TwitchTV and Anxiety Gaming Website, )

(Photo: SubaruEsports TwitchTV and Anxiety Gaming Website,

The biggest missed opportunity is their donation to Anxiety Gaming. Within the press release, this news was just slipped into the end. 

One of the most important thing for charities like Anxiety Gaming is getting the word out about their service, which both relates to their mission of making mental health care accessible to those who need it through connecting them to both more in need of their help and possible donors.  [Ed: That is awesome that Subaru committed to this via both marketing and money - but let's add a 0 and some more lines 👊🏽 On a quick soapbox moment, mental health is so under reported and greatly affects the eSports community. We unfortunately had several suicides and anything that can be done to prevent more is helpful..]

As an example, just last week Blizzard had their own charity partnership with the Make A Wish Foundation. They invited a number of prolific players, streamers, and coaches to stream their game, Heroes of the Storm, and donated a set amount as they completed various milestones. Through doing this, viewers will directly engage with streamers who effectively acts as both advocates and champions for the cause.

Looking forward to seeing the action on their Twitch channel on May 13th and 14th.