Chipotle Mexican Grill is the latest non-endemic brand to get a taste for esports. The restaurant chain has partnered with OpTic Gaming to drive awareness of its brand through a contest that will send four fans to Chicago to visit OpTic Gaming’s main base, Scuf House.
The “Text2Win” contest will run from August 14-28, and two winners will get to bring a guest for a two-night, three-day stay in Chicago with airfare, premium hotel and transportation, spending money and swag—including limited-edition Chipotle-branded jerseys.
Scott Robinson, manager of events and sponsorships at Chipotle Mexican Grill, said the company has been keeping a pulse on esports for some time and has watched it grow. Now felt like the right time to jump in.
“We were having discussions with RevXP about the space in general, looking for a way to support the scene, to be a foundational partner brand as it continues to grow, and to integrate initially in a fun way,” Robinson explained to AListDaily. “Partnering with the OpTic team ended up being our direction.”
eSports team @OpTicGaming signs sponsorship deal with Chipotle, will be on jersey.
Already sponsored by Brisk Tea & Turtle Wax pic.twitter.com/dRH37hRU73
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 8, 2017
OpTic Gaming CEO Hector Rodriguez said the team has been fans of Chipotle for a long time and it had been interacting with the brand on social media over the years.
“This partnership fits in well with the busy lifestyles of our pro players and our OpTic Strength initiative, which helps promote the benefits of a balanced, healthy lifestyle,” Rodriguez explained. “We look forward to introducing the brand to esports.”
The existing social media relationship with the top-tier esports team made the decision easy. “We thought it was the right time to show that this scene deserves the support, as it has an amazing, loyal and passionate fan base,” said Robinson.
Research by the restaurant chain found that the brand already had a lot of esports fans. “This is about supporting their lifestyle and passions, and having fun with them,” Robinson said. “This is something Chipotle is always looking to do for our customers in the variety of ways we look at event and partnership opportunities.”
Chipotle worked with OpTic Gaming to come up with the contest.
“We wanted the prize to be once-in-a-lifetime, and something really special for the fans of OpTic and esports,” Robinson acknowledged. “It became pretty apparent that getting them out to the Scuf House, actually game with the team, hang at the house, and do something special like that was the direction we wanted to go.”
Since esports is a completely digital ecosystem, Robinson said Twitter will play a huge role in getting the word out about the contest and for some follow-up communications and promotions. Additionally, OpTic Gaming players will help promote the contest by creating video content around the sweepstakes winner coming to the Scuf House and gaming with their favorite players.
“We love how organic it felt to support the team, given their professed love of Chipotle over the years,” Robinson said. “We hope it’s a successful partnership and that we can grow our support in this area.”
OpTic Gaming has a history of working with non-endemic brands like Brisk and Turtle Wax, which tapped into the team’s love of sports cars. The pro team is competing in the Call of Duty World League (CWL) championship this weekend in Orlando, Florida.