TNL eSports Brand Tracker 023: T-Mobile and Twitch E3 eSports Arena

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 023: T-MOBILE AND E3

E3 Arena.png

TNL Take: T-Mobile has been involved in Gaming for many years and I helped close their first social gaming sponsorship at Zynga.

T-Mobile Sponsorship In Zynga's Treasure Island (Photo: Zynga)

T-Mobile Sponsorship In Zynga's Treasure Island (Photo: Zynga)

Within eSports, T-Mobile sponsored team Evil Geniuses in 2014 and was part of ESL's event at Madison Square Garden in 2015.

T-Mobile and Evil Geniuses (Photo: Evil Geniuses)

T-Mobile and Evil Geniuses (Photo: Evil Geniuses)

In 2016, T-Mobile announced that their Binge On program would include content from YouTube Gaming, DailyMotion....and Azubu, which I called out as a risk at that time.

Azubu was sold in a firesale to Hitbox in May of this year.

Announced yesterday, T-Mobile's most recent partnership with Twitch at E3 looks a bit more promising.

T-Mobile will be the presenting sponsor for the Twitch eSports Arena at this year's E3 which will feature a fighting game genre tournament featuring Street Fighter V, TEKKEN 7, and Injustice 2.. 

In a smart move, each day of the 3 day activation will feature a different game.  T-Mobile is also allowing fans to vote for their MVP of each daily tournament as well via Twitter/Twitch hashtag #TMobileMVP.

 

Welcome back T-Mobile....now let's move more of that MLB budget over to eSports.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 027: Universal Pictures and ECS

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 027: Universal Pictures and ECS

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 027: Universal Pictures (Photo: Faceit/Twitch)

TNL Take:  The Entertainment vertical like Movies and TV have been always been one of the bigger spenders in the Gaming space.

During my time at Zynga, DreamWorks, Paramount, and NBC Universal were some of the earliest Brands partners.

Now we're starting to see the Entertainment investment in eSports following Sony Pictures and E LEAGUE.

Universal Pictures, which had a previous Warcraft sponsorship, is now promoting Jason Bourne in Faceit and Twitch's ECS Finals at the SSE Arena Wembley.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 027: Universal Pictures (Photo: Faceit/Twitch)

All the usual in game and onsite promotion with Jason Bourne being one of the first Non-endemic Brands for ECS.

Selling Brands on Counter-Strike can be challenging.

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 027: Universal Pictures (Photo: Faceit/Twitch)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 027: Universal Pictures (Photo: Faceit/Twitch)

TNL eSports Brand Tracker 016: Bud Light eSports All Stars

TNL ESPORTS BRAND TRACKER 016: Bud Light eSports All Stars

(Photo: Bud Light)

TNL Take: After years of involvement with traditional sports, Bud Light is partnering with eSports for the first time.

Starting next week, fans will vote for their favorite All-Stars of who the top players will engage the community via live streaming, custom content, tournaments, and onsite activations.

When looking at the top Ad Categories by spending, at least 1 Brand within each Category has invested within Gaming: Retail, Auto, Telco, Financial Services, CPG, QSR, Insurance, Beverage, etc.

In my 10+ years at the intersection of Gaming and Advertising, there’s been 1–2 Alcohol programs total (Coors Light did a program with Xbox 360 in 2014 and a Mobile Game in 2015). Not only had the Category not been expanded, the entrance comes from the world’s largest brewer with $50B in revenue that paid $1.4B to be the Official Beer sponsor of the NFL.

The challenge came down to two factors: Age targeting limitations and the audience size post targeting.

eSports is the perfect medium for this demo as SuperData and Newzoo have already said (coupled with internal live streaming data), the majority of viewership and audience is 21+.

The data below from Gaming research firm EEDAR is for players only but provides additional corroboration for the 21+ audience:

(Photo: EEDAR)

I also like that the program incorporates a few different elements:

  • Fan Engagement: Vote for your favorite eSports players supported by…
  • Events: Athletes reveal at Dreamhack. Winners announced at E3. All-Star Tournament at TwitchCon. Onsite Activations.
  • Custom Content: Exclusive streams on Twitch and a Behind-the-Scenes series developed by Machinima.

Is the program perfect?

No.

But for all the reasons above it’s a great start. Big hand to all those involved on the Brand, Agency, and Platform/Event side to make this happen.

For new Brands engaging with eSports, 2016 is off to a fantastic start.