By: Steve Meyers, Account Director and David Wales, Senior Strategist for TMA Gaming
The state of the gaming industry is always evolving. Across the board, brands are finding it harder and harder to ignore gaming as one of the best ways to tap into Gen Z and one of their largest passion points. While non-endemic brands have been playing in the category for quite some time, the last several years has seen an explosion in participation.
There are many different avenues into gaming for non-endemic brands, but their physical activations at gaming community events stand out in particular. Connecting with gamers face-to-face adds a layer of engagement and opportunity not seen with digital channels.
At TwitchCon in September, TMA had the pleasure of helping activate for State Farm and observing how other non-endemic brands were approaching physical activations and experiences at community events.
Our friends at State Farm made a surprise appearance this year at TwitchCon by kicking off their new Charity Streams initiative. The program was announced by Ben “DrLupo” Lupo and Panic at the Disco’s lead vocalist, Brendon Urie. The duo streamed Fortnite together on Sept. 28 – Good Neighbor Day – and held a meet and greet for attendees following the stream. Joining DrLupo and Urie were Team Liquid’s Jake “Poach” Brumleve and Thomas “72hrs” Mulligan, who together helped complete challenges while playing Fortnite with TwitchCon attendees. The four completed enough challenges for State Farm to donate a total of $30,000 to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the American Red Cross, and Highest Hopes Foundation. The State Farm Charity Streams initiative will continue through 2019.
MAC Cosmetics made its TwitchCon debut in impressive fashion by hosting meet and greets for two of the largest and most influential female streamers on Twitch, Pokimane and KittyPlays. This jump into TwitchCon also included a makeup demonstration on “Stream Ready Makeup” by Romero Jennings, MAC Cosmetics’ Director of Makeup Artistry. A cosmetic brand showing up in the gaming space shouldn’t be unexpected when you consider streamers are sitting in front of their audience for 6-10 hours a day. This is a huge opportunity for cosmetic lines to make an impact with Gen Z and younger millennials, who are continually influenced by the people they follow on social media and watch on Twitch.
After teaming up with Ninja and DrLupo to promote its hybrid milk chocolate and Reese’s Pieces chocolate bar at TwitchCon 2018, Hershey’s was back this year with meet and greets featuring DrLupo and TimTheTatMan. Taking full advantage of the fall season and October, Hershey’s created a Halloween-themed space that really set the mood. The meet-ups were paired with daily giveaways and raffles as well as samplings of your favorite Halloween fun-size candy.
TwitchCon will continue to be a great platform for brands to create immersive experiences, but outside of that, we will continue to see new waves of brands jumping into the gaming category on the streaming and entertainment side as well as the esports side.
We’re inspired by brands like Louis Vuitton who is partnering with Riot to design a travel case for the Summoner’s Cup, the U.S. Army who is creating its own esports team to activate at events and connect with the community, and Bud Light who is bringing in-game elements from Overwatch to life with their Bud Light Payload. We’re looking forward to seeing how brands engage in this space during the rest of 2019 and into 2020.
About TMA Gaming
We help brands navigate the gaming and esports space with strategic recommendations and activations covering gaming community events, esports sponsorship negotiation, publisher partnerships, content production, influencer, and more. Our work can be seen in collaborations with State Farm, Nintendo, Wrigley, GameStop, and the U.S. Army.