CHICAGO: Jack in the Box, the quick-service chain, believes that becoming involved in the eSports space presents a variety of opportunities for its brand.

Adrienne Ingoldt, VP/marketing comms at Jack in the Box, discussed this subject during a session at ESP Properties’ 2018 IEG Conference.

The restaurant brand, she explained, has allied with Team Envy, the Dallas, Texas-based parent to several professional gaming teams. As a result, it now sponsors competitors in the official Call of Duty and Overwatch competitions.

Given the fanbase for such franchises skews in the direction of young, male, and digitally-engaged millennials and members of Generation Z, it represents a prime cohort for fast-food companies.

“We did see a lot of overlap between the Jack [in the Box] audience and the Team Envy audience going into this partnership,” said Ingoldt. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Jack in the Box gets a taste for eSports.)

Gamers, she continued, are often cynical about the involvement of brands in this space, but quick-service operators scored well on their list of favoured partners. “We’re at the top, so that was an easy one,” Ingoldt said.

She added: “There’s obviously a lot of snacking that goes along with this behavior, whether from a fan perspective or a player perspective.

“Many of these players are awake a lot of hours, not only practicing and then also playing. But then they’re also livestreaming and tweeting and everything else.

“So, when they get a hankering for a couple of tacos at two o’clock in the morning, we’re there for them. It was a natural place for us to fit.”

Jack in the Box’s activity in this space will range from placing its logos on team jerseys and erecting traditional signage at competitions through to offering unique on-site experiences for fans and creating digital content.

As the eSports category is at a nascent stage of development, Ingoldt emphasized the importance of working with expert partners that can help marketers “navigate” this emerging discipline.

“We want to trailblaze, we want to be nimble, and be able to look at something that is an opportunity like eSports and take a chance on it, but do it in the right way,” she said.

Sourced from WARC