Bud Light decided to venture into eSports with an “All-Stars” program with the hope of connecting with young, male-skewing eSports fans. At the DreamHack Austin event, which ran from May 6 to 8, Bud Light announced a list of what it considers the top competitors in several of the most popular video games. The beer brand invites fans to vote for their favorite gamer and the five competitors with the most votes will be crowned Bud Light All-Stars on June 14th during an E3 event, which will be broadcast live on Bud Light’s Twitch channel.
While this may look like a solid plan, Bud Light took a few missteps in its execution and ended up with a lackluster response from eSports fans. Reports from eSports outlets point out that the “All Stars” candidates that Bud Light announced were not really “top-tier” players at all, but instead a list filled with players with mediocre rankings and even several retired ones. Besides the misguided selection of players, Bud Light’s eSports All-Stars initiative does not feature competitive gaming elements, which is also a large part of why it failed to garner enthusiasm from the eSports community so far.
What Brands Need To Do
eSports is one of the fast-growing media segments that brands are eager to get into, and Bud Light is certainly commendable for attempting to connect with the eSports audience. Unfortunately, their implementation missed the mark because, essentially, they did not deliver on their promise of “All Stars.” For brands aiming to enter an emerging segment like eSports, it is important to take the time to learn about the dynamic field so as to devise a plan that incorporates the essence of competitive gaming and matches both the campaign budget and audience expectations.