Earlier this year, Coca-Cola’s Matt Wolf spoke to [a]listdaily about the importance of eSports, and why the online gaming competition was important to them. This week, it appears that the company’s initiative is finally getting off the ground, as it has teamed up with Twitch to host an e-Sports-based Game-A-Thon, which is taking place at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, starting today.
As reported per VentureBeat, the event features four players facing off against one another in select games, as chosen by Coca-Cola. This will be the company’s true foray into the world of eSports, and will offer the winner the opportunity to make a big donation to charity. The games will be “mystery” titles, so the players won’t really expect what challenges will come their way – which will no doubt add some interest to the tournament.
“We are interested in gaming,” said Wolf, head of global gaming for Coca-Cola. “It’s big. We know it. We’re being smart and focused about how we approach it. As we head into the end of the year, this opportunity with our friends at Twitch is a great way for us to cap off the year with a great on-site production. We can give back to the players and to a charity for the holidays.”
Coca-Cola originally came to Twitch in an effort to reach out more to the gaming community, according to the streaming channel’s chief operating officer, Kevin Lin. With its audience of 60 million active users – and a healthy investment from Amazon earlier this year – there’s no doubt the soda maker can benefit from such a partnership.
However, Coca-Cola is taking its time entering into the foray of e-Sports. “Matt’s challenge to us was how can Coke embrace not just the hardcore of e-sports but gaming culture more broadly in a good, authentic way,” Lin said. “They want to establish Coke as a brand wholeheartedly and not just as a small piece within Twitch. This is a cool and fun angle that brings a lot of our community people together in a way that has a fun component and a charity component. Our job at Twitch is to help brands like Coca-Cola come into this space and understand it.”
“A lot of these gamers have shunned traditional media. They have completely replaced that with watching Twitch. It’s important to know what type of messaging works with them,” he added.
“It’s a perfect match between the two brands as we make our way into the gaming space, e-sports, and live streaming broadcasts,” Wolf said. “We want to bring our own flavor and speak to this audience through our brand. It’s about being humble and understanding the markets we move into. We need best of breed partners to make sure we deliver quality content and authentic content that resonates with that core.
“A fifth of the world plays games for an hour a day or more,” Wolf continued. “We look forward to continuing with our gaming community for a long time. We are doing this at our headquarters. We want people at Coca-Cola to understand more about what these games are and how people consume them.”
Participants in the tournament include Twitch’s content director Jon Carnage, Frag Doll e-Sports combatant Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico, and other pro players, including The Justin Flynn, Swiftor, and Voyboy.
Interested parties can check out the action here.