Amid the rise of experiential activation, particularly in esports, RedPeg Marketing continues to work from the trenches, activating at over 1,500 events overall each year with clients that include the likes of GEICO, Warner Bros, Ubisoft, and Square Enix in the gaming and esports space. With authenticity serving as the key activation ingredient to successful campaigns in esports, the company – led by CEO Brad Nierenberg – recently had a starring role in the GEICO ELEAGUE Amateur Series which was announced this week.

Cynopsis Esports asked Nierenberg about his thoughts on the evolution of esports, the new league and working with brands.

Nierenberg on the evolution of esports: We’ve seen the industry go from solely focusing on the tournaments, to full-scale experiences surrounding the tournaments. We’ve seen sponsors go from simply providing prize pool allocations to creating interactive integrations, both online and off. And we’ve seen gaming companies start to turn to experiential marketing to gain new customers, not just brands.

Gaming fans are quite astute; they’re able to sniff out which brands are authentic and altruistic to the community and those that are trying to exploit the rapidly growing segment. Brands that add value to the industry are continually reaping the rewards. And that’s where we come in. For the past three years, we have helped guide clients and partners into the esports ecosystem in a credible manner. More and more, our clients are seeing the value of experiential marketing, its ability to connect with consumers, and its ability to cut through the digital clutter and connect with consumers through deeper experiences.

On working with brands: Our number one priority is to help our clients enter the gaming space in an authentic way, one that positions them as a formidable ally within the space. To do so, we work with brands through the following steps:

Our first step is to introduce a brand to the world of gaming audience and opportunities. Depending on the client, they may have little or no exposure to the gaming community.

  1. Next, we listen. We want to know the brands main goals and objectives, as well as their current pain points.
  2. From there, we conduct a competitive analysis of the space, uncovering target insights that allow us to strategically enter the brand into the gaming space.
  3. Next, we marry steps two and three. It’s essential to connect what’s ownable to the brand with what is meaningful and relevant to the community in a way that works to positively impact their key objectives. This ensures that the brand integration establishes an emotional connection with gamers and fans online and offline.

Overall, we find this approach not only allows us to address the brand’s pain points, but that authentically aligns them with the gaming audience. And through our expertise in activation, we can execute on these strategies, creative concepts, and tactical plans in partnership with our clients.

On GEICO’s esports play: We are consistently looking for ways to expand our current programs to include more teams, games and events. There are millions of opportunities, so it’s our job to find the best partners to take the GEICO Gaming brand to the next level. GEICO’s partnership from Turner is our latest example of this. Outside of gaming, Turner has been an important partner for GEICO for years now, so it only made sense to expand the partnership to include gaming, cementing GEICO as a leading non-endemic brand in gaming.

On launching the GEICO ELEAGUE Amateur Series: From day one, GEICO has supported amateur gamers in taking their game to the next level through our online and live Hearthstone Open tournaments. Their goal is to uncover hidden talent and give amateurs the chance to compete against their idols. This extension with Turner is the latest iteration of that mission. Hopefully one day, the amateurs GEICO fosters will be playing in studio at the next ELEAGUE Invitational.

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