Crew League competitors can win this McDonald's championship belt. Gen.G
In a deal that shows that local sponsorships are valuable to global esports organizations, Gen.G is extending its partnership with McDonald’s for another year for the McDonald’s Crew League (a B2B offering) in the Southern California, Southern Plains (Kansas and Oklahoma), and DMV (Washington, D.C, Maryland, and Virginia) regions. The partnership also adds the Pacific Northwest. The Crew League is an esports series for McDonald’s employees.
Gen.G and other esports organizations pursue local sponsorships because they can help cut through the noise that comes from marketing global products and teams. Local deals tap into communities, akin to the way game publishers will enlist streamers with smaller but dedicated communities to promote smaller, niche games. And the Crew League can help build camaraderie within McDonald’s stores and regions.
“Esports continues to grow and develop into a bit of a marketing and sponsorship beast. There are so many audiences to tap into but there’s no cookie cutter method to accomplish that. Regional sponsorships in particular can help bring about rather niche but powerfully dedicated communities,” said Gen.G Chief Revenue Officer Martin Kim to Sports Business Journal over email. “People naturally want to support something ‘homegrown’ or “community-grown.’ Instead of trying to use a kind of blanket product or statement from a sponsor to grab a ton of eyes at once, utilizing a regional sponsorship can quickly grow what looks like a small group of people to one of the most dedicated fan bases for the sponsor.”
In these Crew Leagues, participants vote on a game and can then compete in the league for prizes (like PlayStation 5s and Xbox Series X/S consoles, Amazon gift cards or T-shirts). Winners can get a championship belt and a plaque for their store.
Gen.G owns teams and sets up esports leagues and other competitions and events (like its work with Nimble Neuron’s latest game, Eternal). It’s found that projects like its Crew League for McDonald’s are delivering a different sort of metric: community.
“After we launched the McDonald’s Crew League program in Southern California, we immediately recognized we had a blueprint to expand based on the tremendous feedback from those who participated,” Kim said. “Gaming is becoming a social platform on its own for people to connect – the way we saw social media ten years ago. Now, it’s second nature.
“The core reason why this was successful from the onset was because McDonald’s wanted to engage with their gaming crew members in the most authentic way — it always wins.”