Automaker BMW moves marketing budget on esports

BMW is shifting its global marketing strategy monumentally by switching to esports, which it hopes will lead to a sharing among the next generation of customers.

Luxurious German car manufacturer formed a partnership with 5 gaming organisations – US-based Cloud9, UK-based Fnatic, China-based FunPlus Phoenix, Germany’s G2 Esports and South Korea T1 – aimed at catching video game-stick eyeballs in titles such as Legends League, DOTA 2, Fortnite and FIFA.

BMW has announced it’s partnering with 5 esports organisations, along with 8.1 million follow-ups across Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, have also a massive involvement and reach across social media. 11 times more than BMW across the same platforms. The teams will face a challenge before the tournaments with the promotional slogan “Together in Rivalry” as a hashtag on social networks and streaming platforms.

For esports organisations, this has gone ahead with G2 alone increasing its engagement by 30 percent and reaching audiences through its diverse content channels and social media. In December, billionaire Joseph Tsai, co-founder of Alibaba and owner of the Brooklyn Nets, made an investment of 10 million dollars for G2 to become a minority shareholder.

According to Forbes’ latest estimate, G2 is worth 165 million dollars up 57 percent from last year, based on annual sales profit of 22 million dollars.

BMW initiated last year’s negotiations with teams and finally signed individual agreements. G2’s Rodriguez said his team has an arrangement for three years and he is unaware of the characteristics of any other company. The carmaker did not disclose the terms, but a year ago it took team support for a test drive, agreeing an initial agreement of $400 million in 2019 with Cloud9, the most successful esports group. On the basis of data gathered to compile this evaluation last fall, Forbes reports that BMW will pay every team a low seven-digit amount per year, making it one of the most expensive sports partners.

BMW’s Ponivka clarified it would not be at the detriment of one marketing-budget line item for this collaboration. The business decided to reduce its footprint, rather than to move the money for sports in other established marketing industries, such as trade shows and live events. BMW will also be equipped with immobilisation on every team’s uniforms, in addition to social media and content sharing, which will provide each company with a flood of personalised team-branded vehicles for ferry to events.

In order to facilitate the design of hardware and software devices for potential needs of gamers the company will also include its Germans technologies to sportive organisations. With car ownership still a long way from achieving the customer goal of the automaker, Ponikva acknowledges that the payoff may be long overdue. “We know we’re going to have a reason to enjoy BMW when the time comes,” he says. “And we are going to be their first brand.”