- Lamborghini is hosting an esports tournament with the mobile racing game Asphalt 9: Legends, per an announcement shared with Marketing Dive. The competition, beginning on May 13, will let players worldwide drive a virtual version of the luxury car brand's Essenza SVC12 sports car as they complete challenges.
- In partnership with Gameloft for brands and esports company ESL Italy, Lamborghini will also offer brand-specific prizes to winners of the tournament, which features a round of three qualifiers, a playoff match and a final race broadcast on Sept. 18.
- The Lamborghini Essenza SVC12 Challenge sees the carmaker hoping to drum up buzz about its brand by connecting with online gamers, a demographic with which it has experimented in the past — though this time the focus is exclusively on mobile devices.
With its mobile racing competition, Lamborghini is targeting an audience that has become more important for brands looking to build awareness with younger consumers. In recent years, the size of the esports industry has skyrocketed , and so has its marketing potential , making it an especially important touch point for brands that rely heavily on consumer perception. The Asphalt series of games alone has been downloaded more than 1 billion times, per Gameloft. Historically, Lamborghini has been one of these brands, finishing year after year in the top five of automakers in terms of social influence, according to Engagement Labs research that analyzed the marketers most adept at getting consumers to talk about their brands.
To ingratiate itself with the gaming community, Lamborghini is showcasing its Essenza SVC12 sports car, of which only 40 real-life cars have been manufactured, according to Gameloft. Prizes are also being offered to entice players, though no details have been released. Previous Lamborghini-sponsored esports events have featured cash rewards between $1,000 and $5,000.
While other car brands, including Lamborghini, have targeted esports in the past, this latest effort is a chance for the luxury automaker to connect with gamers specifically on their smartphones. Mobile gaming has grown faster and by a larger margin than both PC and console gaming, and now makes up over half (57%) of the entire gaming market, per Newzoo research cited by Venture Beat . Such growth is why companies are increasingly seeing mobile games as a gold mine within a gold mine .
Another advantage of mobile gaming is its proximity to social platforms that also inhabit the mobile ecosystem. With apps like Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram literally a click away, brands can indirectly tap into those social streams by succeeding in their gamification efforts, or even linking the two via overlapping audiences . The ties between mobile games and social media companies are only becoming stronger as social platforms look to integrate the former .