For any fan of video games, e-sports have become quite popular. Recently, a 1 million dollar reward was given to the team that won a big tournament for LoL (that is League of Legends not laugh out loud for those of you who have not played any games recently). There are only a few games that I can think of that are currently extremely popular in e-sports, and those would be Defense of the Ancients, League of Legends, and Blizzard’s world renown Starcraft 2 with an expansion coming soon. This post is for the big gaming companies!
On college campuses across the country, you see promotions for all sorts of companies: Microsoft, Levi’s, Frozen Yogurt, Axe, Trojan, Captain Morgan, Bacardi, and more. One company I have never seen was any sort of gaming company. My question is why not? So here’s my idea to not only market, promote, but even expand the world of gaming and e-sports. I’ll use Blizzard in my example because they are in fact one of my favorites, and probably have the most aesthetically pleasing marketing, logo, etc… in my opinion. Also a single game of Starcraft is much easier to organize and set up than a game of LoL for 10 people.
Idea: A nationwide tour across college campuses! This could be a promotion… Winner from each campus gets a free copy of Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm expansion. Games these days cost nothing (well in terms of the cd itself since they can just be downloaded), as can be seen by the extreme popularity of the downloadable version of Diablo 3.
I envision ESPN-U College Gameday meets Comic Con. A traveling tour bus with a huge Blizzard logo and seductive picture of Kerrigan would be the marketing design on the bus. The interior would come with up to 10 “stations” of high quality computers allowing for a “mini” tournament across the nation on each campus. Day would obviously be a part of the traveling troupe along to cast the events live on Youtube, with a very attractive female spokesperson to welcome the nerds on campus to play.
Benefits: A tremendous amount of promotion that I have never seen a video game company make. Video game companies probably don’t need to market this much mainly because all the geeks already know what’s going on through websites like GameFAQs and Reddit. However I believe it would be great for those in the gaming community to have an event like this. Even if there are no good players on the campuses across the United States, it would be great fun for Day to be casting and having live viewers make fun of the bronze league n00bs as they try 6pooling each other futilely. The stream views alone would probably bring in revenue.
In terms of marketing, promotion, and business, I feel this idea has nothing but benefits. It gets a large group of the consumer base involved in the community (18-30 year old gamers in college). I would have loved for an opportunity to meet Day or Bomber, or Olivia Munn, and enter a Blizzard tour bus as I’m sure any Starcraft or Diablo fan would. Field promoting is something I never see in gaming, and I feel it would be a way to get nerds out of their dungeons filled with nachos, pizza boxes, and soda. It may even help fellow gamers meet other gamers to make new friends (I think this would be a great goal to add), and while it does not generate revenue directly, I feel it creates better feelings about the company.
PROBLEMS: Here are some problems I’m arising. Now lets think about costs… First there’s gas, the cost of the bus, the cost of marketing, the cost of the computers, maintenance etc… However Blizzard already has to pay for all of these things anyways. This would just be a more effective way of reaching out to gamers. This is something new, and unique. So here’s a problem: when is the best time to reach out to these kids? They’re all busy studying, going to class, etc… Who has the time? Well considering the gaming community is likely on Reddit most of the time, the idea starts there. Have a schedule colleges ready with guests.
At Florida State (Go Noles) there was something called “Market Wednesdays” when organizations across campuses, and businesses were allowed on campus. This was where I often saw promoting for companies like Microsoft. Why not get a spot on a day like that on campus? The bus enough would be enough to attract any nerd or gamer to see what was going on. Have a couple attractive female “models” from each campus and you’ve got yourself a cool hangout for a day. Have various players compete throughout the day on a first come first serve basis. Heck I’d be willing to skip a class once for the opportunity. It could also be a benefit to take the best players from the day to compete for a top spot at another event at night, at a popular destination (with lots of computers) or even the bus, set up in front of a popular club or bar. Then have Day do his thing, casting live from the campus of “UCLA” or “UF” or “Bama.”
So here’s a checklist:
Check with universities and nearby venues to host the event.
Create schedule of events.
Post schedule to reddit.
Have people sign up prior to event
Host mini tournament during the day or night
Host main events at night.
There you go Blizzard, I hope to see a huge tour bus soon