Coca-Cola: Why eSports Is Important


Matt Wolf

The rapid rise of eSports in the past few years has taken many major brands by surprise. The size of the eSports audience has rapidly grown, and the numbers are there to demonstrate that. The Twitch streaming service has over 45 million monthly views, with most of that coming from games that are part of eSports. The prize pool in the recent DOTA 2 tournament The International reached over $10 million, exceeding the prize for the PGA Pro Tour. Last year’s League of Legends World Championships attracted an audience exceeding that of the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs. The message is clear —eSports has arrived.

Yet so far, most major brands have yet to put marketing dollars into eSports. There are a number of factors that might explain this, such as the bewildering array of video games that call themselves an eSport; a number of different professional leagues; a large variety of ways to advertise or sponsor eSports; and no clear guides to this complex, fast-growing and fast-changing universe. More than that, it’s difficult to convince executives not familiar with video games and eSports that this is really an under-utilized, powerful marketing channel.

The appeal of massive, highly engaged audiences of a core demographic that’s difficult ot reach in any other way is strong, and it won’t be overlooked forever. Smarter brands are already building marketing strategies and budgets that include eSports, and it’s not just brands that are in small product segments that are tightly involved in eSports. The appeal is now a mass-market appeal, and mass-market brands are responding to the siren call.

The Coca-Cola Company has been one of the early mainstream brands to embrace eSports. The company aligned with Riot Games and its global League of Legends eSports infrastructure to build an amateur league featuring its Coke Zero brand. Matt Wolf, Coca-Cola’s global head of gaming, said the company considers eSports a key pillar in its overall gaming strategy. So far, fans have embraced the new Twitter page, @cokeesports , and he expects the company’s foray into eSports to continue to grow. Wolf explains why it’s important to connect with this huge global audience today in this exclusive interview.

[a]list daily: Why did Coke decide to get involved in eSports?

Matt Wolf: Approximately one-fifth of the world actively plays video games for an average of an hour a day and its growing. ESports is booming as a result, generating billions of hours played and tens of millions of hours watched every month. Fans of eSports participate the sport in three ways — playing, watching and attending live events. For The Coca-Cola Company, the opportunity for us is how we can connect with the loyal eSports fans at these three participation points in an authentic way, and in a way that delivers added value to their experience and to the game. Through this partnership with Riot Games we strive to elevate eSports, using our brand as a lens to bring recognition to the gaming community and look forward to other exciting plans we currently have under development.

[a]list daily: How have you worked with Riot Games with League of Legends?

Matt Wolf: Earlier this year, we kicked off our partnership with Riot Games through Coke Zero and the development of the “Challenger Series,” a series for amateur gamers to compete for a spot in the professional league. We have worked very closely and collaboratively with Riot Games to create a league that delivers true value to the fans and players of the sport, and that begins to build an infrastructure for eSports that mirrors that of the more traditional sports. To help promote the partnership, we recently launched @cokeesports on Twitter as a place for the brand to engage with fans through our activation with League of Legends. Moving through the end of the year, we will have a presence in South Korea for the World Finals in October.

[a]list daily: How have you seen eSports, especially League of Legends, grow in recent years?

Matt Wolf: It has been amazing to see eSports and League of Legends grow over time. The numbers are staggering. Those outside of the gaming community really aren’t aware of how intensely players and fans consume it. But we are hoping our involvement will help to enhance the community because, similar to The Matrix, once the general public is exposed to eSports, they may never look at the world of entertainment in quite the same way again.

[a]list daily: What opportunities have the livestreaming of eSports competitions, as well as player and team practice sessions, opened up for your brand?

Matt Wolf: Two words: reach and scale. Twitch is powerful because it offers a direct-to-consumer marketing platform, however, we are really interested in the deeper integration with the community that lends itself more to the live event side of the business. The key to both platforms is credibility and authenticity — the right voice at the right time is critical to connect with the audience.

Lexus Invests More In Original Digital Shorts With The Weinstein Company

By Sahil Patel

Last year, Lexus International partnered with The Weinstein Company to launch Lexus Short Films, a series of five short films from emerging filmmakers themed around the idea that “life is amazing.”

Now the brand and the film studio are back, renewing the partnership with two new films based on the same concept.

The first, “Market Hours,” focuses on Randall, a security guard at an urban market who harbors a crush on Angela, the owner of a pastry shop within the market. Written and directed by Jon Goldman, the short follows Randall, whose vivid imagination — usually spent on describing the inner lives of the various vendors at the market — has prevented him from catching a thief. A chance encounter with an actress and her lapdog gives him the opportunity to prove his worth.

The second short film, “Operation Barn Owl,” comes from director Satsuki Okawa, who co-wrote the film with Ken Ochiai and Christopher Browne. Focusing on Ellen, a young woman who is helping her best friend Jonah create a unique proposal for his girlfriend, Ashley, the film shows Ellen grappling with her own feelings for Jonah while also working hard to manage various hiccups that arise during the planned show.

Both films were executive produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Lance Still, with Joey Horvitz and Marc Longberg producing.

As part of the Lexus Short Films series, the directors also received mentorship from a group of filmmakers and creatives within Hollywood, including directors Phillip Noyce (“The Giver”), Simon Curtis (“David Copperfield”), Justin Chadwick (“Tulip Fever”), and Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”), as well as actress Katie Holmes and Harvey Weinstein.

The famous mentors will take part in a series of vignettes about the mentoring process, documenting the process of them meeting with the two filmmakers and offering guidance and support. These videos, which will also explore the “art, evolution, and importance of the short film medium,” will be released in the lead-up to the films’ worldwide online release.

VideoInk attended the New York premiere for the films, which also doubled as an opportunity to preview The Weinstein Company’s upcoming dystopian feature film “The Giver.” (Check out some of the images from the event below.)

Both films will be released online at the end of October, following a tour of film festivals around the globe. They will also be attached to major Weinstein Company released like “The Giver,” according to Lexus.

This article was originally posted on VideoInk and is reposted on [a]listdaily via a partnership with the news publication, which is the online video industry’s go-to source for breaking news, features, and industry analysis. Follow VideoInk on Twitter @VideoInkNews, or subscribe via for the latest news and stories, delivered right to your inbox. 

Listen To PewDiePie’s One-And-A-Half-Hour Hit Radio Show

Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg has over 27 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, which features videos of him playing and commenting video games. Last year his channel became the most subscribed YouTube channel in the world. His videos has been viewed more than 5 billion times. This last Saturday, PewDiePie got to host Radio Sweden’s show “Sommar” (which means summer in Swedish) and [a]listdaily has the link to listen to the show in English here:

The show is made up by interesting Swedes who get free hands to create their own hour and a half-long show; they get to choose their own music and what they want to talk about. Being a host on Sommar i P1 has been compared to receiving a knighthood in Sweden. According to Swedish press, the show caused Radio Sweden to have record amount of visitors last week.

“I’m a completely normal guy from Gothenburg in Sweden and I’m more commonly known as PewDiePie. Three years ago, no one knew who I was, and today I’m the most watched person on the internet. I’m gonna try to explain how that happened,” said Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg before hosting the show to Radion Sweden.




BuzzFeed Opens Motion Picture Division

It seems everyone wants to make movies these days, and even popular website BuzzFeed is getting in on the action.

The website has announced that it plans to make videos under a new business division known as BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, and it’s already moving in the right direction with a large amount of funding for the project. The site, which usually specializes in viral content and countdown lists, has managed to raise $50 million from Andreessen Horowitz, according to a report from The New York Times. The investment puts BuzzFeed’s worth at about $850 million.

Andreessen Horowitz partner Chris Dixon has joined BuzzFeed’s board as a result, and had plenty to say about the investment. “I believe the future of BuzzFeed – and the media industry more generally – will only get brighter as the number of people with Internet-connected smartphone grows, and the Internet solidifies its place as the central communication medium of our time,” he said.

The funding will not only go towards video production both large and small over at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, but will also go towards new content sections and an in-house incubator for additional technologies, according to The New YorkTimes. “We’re presently in the midst of a major technological shift in which, increasingly, news and entertainment are being distributed on social networks and consumed on mobile devices,” said Dixon. “We believe BuzzFeed will emerge from this period as a preeminent media company.”

As far as what kind of videos will be produced, BuzzFeed is interested in both short six-second videos that are Vine-worthy, as well as feature length films. It’s currently looking into partnerships with Hollywood studios to gain additional distribution, across the likes of YouTube and other digital platforms.

This could certainly open up a new avenue for the site, if it can use its tools in the most creative manner possible.

What do you think Is Buzzfeed ready to enter the movie-making front, or do you think the website will face an uphill battle when it comes to producing noteworthy content There’s no question the funds acquired will be a big help, but now comes the next step of producing content, writing scripts, and so forth. Whatever the case, we certainly wish them luck.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

This Month’s Best Video Game Trailers

Welcome back to our latest monthly edition of this month’s best game trailers, where we look over some of the better video footage presented by game developers and publishers in pure recap fashion. We’ve got plenty to cover this time around, so let’s get started.


When The Last of Us Remastered released for PlayStation 4 last month, it provided the option to capture still images in moving ways through a new Photo Mode. Someone has gone and created some truly startling images in the game with this feature, as you can see above. Savvy PlayStation 4 owners can certainly try out the same thing if they prefer.



A new behind-the-scenes trailer for Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor has emerged, with actors Alastair Duncan and Troy Baker talking about the work that’s gone into creating the cinematic style that the game is becoming known for. Fans of the Lord of the Rings universe should certainly be pleased with where this chapter is going.



Disney nostalgia galore perked up when Aladdin and Jasmine were announced earlier this month for Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes. Fans will be able to recreate the city of Agrabah using a number of power discs within the game, while guiding the heroic Prince and his lady through various fun mini-games.



Finally, it appears that BioWare, the creators of Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Inquisition, are up to something new, which it intends to reveal in Cologne, Germany at the Gamescom event. The real question is, what is it And what’s up with all the strange shadow beings We’ll find out soon enough…

Source: YouTube