Bud Light is bringing back its eSports promotion this summer, as the beer brand aims to remedy the missteps it made in execution last year and puts a greater focus on engaging fans across digital platforms. It plans to announce an all-star roster in late June, with each sponsored all-star player hosting a weekly stream from the brand’s Twitch channel through the end of the year.
Voting for the 2017 Bud Light All-Star nominees has started, covering four uber-popular video games including Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, and Street Fighter V. The company is also planning to create a documentary-style film on each of the all-stars exploring their journey.
What Brands Need To Do
In recent years, eSports has grown from a niche media platform into a massive global phenomenon that brands are starting to tap into to reach the tens of millions of fans around the world. As VC and analyst Mary Meeker pointed out in her 2017 Internet Trends deck, interactive gaming has gone mainstream worldwide, with 2.6 billion gamers in 2017 versus a mere 100 million in 1995. For brands looking for new ways to reach younger audiences across the global markets, eSports provide a fertile platform to explore.
For more in-depth analysis how brands can leverage global mega-channels and niche micro-channels to effectively reach key audiences, check out the Global Culture section of our Outlook 2017.
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.
Source: The Daily Dot & eSports Observer