After watching rival Coca-Cola connect with eSports fans over the past two years, PepsiCo has officially entered the eSports arena through its Brisk Iced Tea brand. Brisk has partnered with top Call of Duty eSports team, OpTic Gaming to launch its new Brisk Mate line of drinks (available in Mango, Dragonfruit and Cherry). The 16-oz. cans are available in select cities, including Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix, Portland, Las Vegas, and Denver.
Brisk teamed up with OpTic Gaming at SXSW in Austin, TX to announce the exclusive partnership and launch the new Brisk Mate line. OpTic Gaming was on hand for the Brisk sponsored HipHop DX concert featuring Def Jam Recordings artists Pusha T, Lil Durk, Desiigner, BiBi Bourelly and HXLT.
According to Gary So, senior director of marketing for Brisk, research shows that over 90 percent of the Gen Z and millennial male audience is highly involved in eSports, engaging with games on Twitch, and looking for game tips and tricks online.
By teaming with OpTic Gaming, So says Brisk is able to connect with eSports fans and gamers to promote the new Brisk Mate messaging, “Power of the Tribe.”
“Looking at this smooth and energizing iced tea, which gives our consumers a smooth and energizing boost with a blend of South American Yerba Mate, eSports was the perfect avenue,” So explained. “It helps our consumers who have a passion to play games with their friends and get excited about eSports.”
According to So, Brisk wanted to be credible and authentic with eSports fans. “ESports is going to become mainstream and we want to be a bit ahead of this curve.”
OpTic Gaming can speak directly to its massive social media audience, which includes over 1.24 million Twitter followers.
Mandy Mazzeo, brand manager for Brisk, explained that Brisk Mate is all about community. “It’s about the power of the tribe; you and your friends pursuing your passions together. OpTic Gaming shares this same sense of community and energy.”
So says Brisk focused on the console eSports audience, rather than the larger PC-based eSports market, because of “the element of competition and the collaborative need to be a team.”
“OpTic Gaming is probably the most influential team out there today,” So says. “We’re looking for the best of breed; the synergies between our brands and how they act as a team. They’re going after every moment like there’s no tomorrow. And that’s very in-sync with our brand.”
So calls this partnership with OpTic Gaming a true collaboration. “We’ve been working with them and giving them a lot of creative license,” he states. “We’re leaning on them to guide our marketing. They’ve done a great job of creating social media content creation that makes our brand become part of pop culture.”
Mazzeo says Brisk had been collaborating with OpTic Gaming for several months prior to the announcement. “Hector Rodriguez (owner of OpTic Gaming) came to us and wanted to do this new competition series on how to integrate our brand into fun team-based events like go karting and paintball,” Mazzeo says. “We’re releasing new videos every Friday in collaboration with OpTic Gaming.”
The next part of this collaboration will be to deck out the OpTic Scuf House, where the team lives. “We went to their house and looked around at the outdoor patio and some of the wall spaces, and we can bring in influential artists of our campaign ideas,” Mazzeo says.
But this is just the beginning for OpTic Gaming, and eSports as a whole. “As we look ahead, this is our first jump into eSports as a brand and we want to make sure our brand is authentic,” So says. “We want to build and learn from that.”