Bud Light, which has become one of the biggest advertisers in esports, sponsoring games like League of Legends and NBA 2K, has decided to launch its own championship, Battle of the Best, on its Twitch channel.
This week, the platform’s top streamers and personalities will be competing against each other for the title. Yet Bud Light’s esports strategy is focused on the long term. The beer brand is looking to not only attract more viewers to its Twitch channel, but also to sign top esports talent.
“There are so many opportunities in this space when it comes to what you can own, whether its broadcasts or even a channel like the one we have on Twitch,” said Joe Barnes, director of sports marketing at Bud Light.
During Battle of the Best, the brand has entered several short-term partnerships with popular streamers, however, in the next few weeks, the company will be announcing an official partnership with a major esports streamer.
The beer brand is banking on the growth of the gaming industry, which is projected to become a $300 billion industry by 2025, according GlobalData. This would far exceed the film industry, which pulled in $100 billion last year. In order to maximize their investment, Bud Light is leaving no stone unturned, recruiting influencers, increasing in-game advertising, and promoting talent.
With celebrities like Post Malone, Mark Cuban, Shaquille O’Neal, Alex Rodriguez, Ashton Kutcher, Tony Robbins, and Jennifer Lopez investing in esports teams, the time is right for Bud Light, a sponsor of traditional sports, to enter the fray.
“We’re being approached by athletes all the time who want to be involved because they like to game,” Barnes said. “We’ll work on the partnerships we already have in place to bring them into our ecosystem on Twitch and the Bud Light channel there. Gaming is where culture is being set.”
Currently, the brand’s Twitch channel has nearly 35,000 followers, 3.62 million live views and 530,000 hours watched, numbers that have only continued to grow exponentially since the coronavirus pandemic hit. Given that the brand has been cultivating an esports presence for the past five years, it has been able to effectively connect who streamers who recognize Bud Light as a reliable gaming resource.
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