A proud sponsor of sports for many years, BMW decided to engage with a new field and a new community: esports. But how can a non-endemic, automotive- and mobility brand conquer this young audience in an authentic way and position itself as an enabler and a love-brand? How can it cut through the competitors’ noise and achieve a truly global impact?
Our answer was to go big: Whilst other brands are just dipping their toes in the water, we jumped in the deep end. With esports fandoms scattered across the globe, we launched our engagement via an incredible sponsorship portfolio with 5 teams from 4 different time zones. And not just any teams: we partnered with the most storied and successful teams from the biggest esports regions: G2 Esports and Fnatic from Europe, Cloud9 from the US, Funplus Phoenix from China and T1 from South Korea.
To tie all these diverse teams with different cultural backgrounds, mindsets and traditions together, we focused on the one aspect they all have in common with BMW: the love of competition and the thrill of rivalry! Under the unique roof of #UnitedInRivalry, we encouraged our teams to do what they do best: compete with each other – on and off the server. From competing as athletes to roasting each other on social media, we enabled and staged their ongoing rivalry in new ways for fans to enjoy. Employing a model of co-creation with all of our partners, we set them loose to produce the kind of content their fans love: from simple memes all the way to a special fan event in the midst of the COVID pandemic, we provided fans with entertainment and interaction in this difficult year – carrying BMW onto their screens and into their hearts.