Mountain Dew is setting its sight on gamers.
Taking a page out of Redbull’s playbook, the PepsiCo brand is looking to be a first-mover in a niche industry, subbing in gamers and esports for extreme sports.
The company will spend 40% of its marketing dollars this year to reach gamers, said Nicole Portwood, vp of marketing.
In 2018, Mountain Dew spent $119.5 million on paid media alone, up from $89 million in 2017, according to data from Kantar Media. The brand said that its plan to spend 40% targeting gamers this year is a slight increase of its spend in the space last year but declined to give specifics.
The company plans to ramp up its sponsorships with esports leagues, including Team OpTic and Counter Logic Gaming as well as teams like Immortals, Team Dignitas and SK Gaming. It will also be spending money on Twitch on co-branded partnerships, as well as Facebook advertising to target gaming and esports fans. It’s also going to be making a new drink flavor focused on gamers, its second since the launch of Mountain Dew Amp Game Fuel last year.
Portwood said the brand is also exploring more opportunities on Cheddar, whose sports TV channel focuses on esports.
“By coming in hard fast and first to the category, they’ve achieved such a strong correlation with extreme sports that some may even say the sport is now an extension of the brand,” said Wolff. “Mountain Dew is looking to achieve the same thing by showing up first and going big across not just marketing but their products as well.”