How 5 of the largest automotive manufacturers drove into esports

mclaren cars esports 1

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One traditional way to promote a product is through advertising. It’s pretty simple – to get your product seen by numerous people, it can be advertised in areas that attract a huge number of viewers.

Esports is one area that advertisers are turning to. Millions of people around the world watch esports competitions, as well as their favourite players or teams live on the internet.

Today, the salaries of professional players can amount to tens of thousands of dollars per month, or more. The prize money at various tournaments and competitions has of course reached millions of dollars. It’s partly thanks to the increased popularity of esports and the investors and sponsors who are coming into the space, as well as advertising campaigns. Today we will talk about which giants in the field of car manufacturing have burst into this field of activity.

Audi

In 2017, the German car manufacturer Audi entered into a partnership with Astralis and had their logo included on Astralis’ esports jerseys.

Then in 2018, Audi partnered with Fokus Clan and intended to position itself in the professional gaming environment over the long term. The cooperation was initially planned to last three years. Together with Media Markt, Audi also became a partner to the esports team of FC Ingolstadt 04.

In 2019, Audi became a sponsor of Astralis Group’s Future FC FIFA team. These are just a few of the partnerships and activities Audi has made in esports so far.

BMW

Another German automotive manufacturer did not want to fall behind and also entered into a partnership with several esports organisations, including G2 Esports:

Last year BMW announced its decision to sign contracts with not one esports club, but with five: Cloud9, Fnatic, FunPlus Phoenix, T1 Entertainment & Sports and the aforementioned G2.

In addition to having the BMW logo on esports jerseys, the German company delivered players to tournaments in their cars.

Mercedes

Another German car manufacturer decided to stand out from its competitors. It invested in SK Gaming and also became a key sponsor of the Dota 2 event ESL One Hamburg.

Mercedes announced an incredible surprise for MVP players in the tournament, who received a brand new Mercedes-Benz car. This move excited the tournament participants and fans.

On top of this, Mercedes was part of a series of memes which they embraced, earning them the respect of esports fans:

Nissan

The Japanese automaker wanted to strengthen its position in the US market in the spring of 2019. Management entered into an agreement with two of the most popular esports organisations: FaZe Clan and OpTic Gaming.

The Nissan logo appeared on both the FaZe and OpTic Gaming jerseys, and team members had access to Nissan vehicles to promote them on social media, including the Nissan Armada, Altima, Kicks and the electric Nissan LEAF.

Fans follow their idols and thus the automaker managed to capture the attention of the esports and gaming audience.

Mazda

Another Japanese automaker, Mazda, got involved in esports. In 2020, Mazda decided to involve a team of players from Ukraine – Hellraisers – in its advertising campaign. Team members were filmed for commercials for new car models.

After the advertising campaign, Mazda management was apparently delighted and decided not to end the cooperation, but rather to extend it for another year. This was announced in January 2021.

mazda hellraisers

Mazda reached more than 6m users, with partnership collaborations reaching 1.7m contacts on social media.

Mazda’s foray into esports has clearly paid off so far.

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The integration of automotive brands into esports is only continuing, and it’s likely we’ll see more strategic partnerships like this in the future as car manufacturers attempt to better reach the younger generation.

Elon Musk is one example of a car brand boss who has been able to reach said demographic and build trust with his followers. In this regard, other traditional automakers have some way to go to do the same.

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