- L'Oréal brand Garnier Fructis has signed a partnership with Team Vitality, according to details shared by the global esports organization.
- The collaboration builds on a previous campaign and spans 2022 and 2023, making Garnier Fructis the organization's first-ever haircare partner. "The Force Returns" campaign will include brand activations, immersive experiences and social elements.
- The brand will also have visibility across Team Vitality's rosters for games including League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Valorant, with players supporting the brand through content and digital assets. The partnership demonstrates how brands not associated with esports and gaming are embracing the powerhouse industry.
L'Oréal's Garnier Fructis is doubling down on esports through a partnership with Team Vitality, which was founded in 2013, boasts more than 14 million social media followers and also has deals with Adidas and blockchain network Tezos. The partnership, which includes elements in several channels, demonstrates how brands from verticals not usually associated with esports are getting in on the action as a way to engage younger consumers, especially among Gen Z.
"Garnier has always been a brand that is close to its consumers. Today, more than ever, we take pride in exploring new areas of expression to maintain the intimacy and authenticity that binds us to our target audience," said Stéphanie Borri, general manager of Garnier France, in a statement.
Garnier and Team Vitality share French origins but both have global reach and aspirations. The esports organization is headquartered in Paris, where it operates a public esports complex and its players train at a facility at national stadium Stade de France. Team Vitality has athletes and staff of 16 different nationalities, and operates teams in games like League of Legends and Valorant that dominate esports and the brand partnerships therein.
The partnership builds on a 2021 campaign, "V for Veuch," that featured Team Vitality players and ambassadors in a playful sci-fi video that seemed to share inspirations with "Stranger Things." For "The Force Returns," Team Vitality dons "Ghostbuster"-like get-ups and attacks a monster that is playing a first-person shooting game.
Non-endemic brands and those not traditionally associated with a space that is incorrectly stereotyped as being dominated by young men (nearly half of gamers are women) continue to embrace esports and gaming in ways that often resemble traditional sports sponsorships. Progressive Insurance this year signed a multiyear, exclusive naming rights deal with esports organization Immortals, while Procter & Gamble brands Tampax and Always this month announced plans to sponsor a new tournament focused on female-identifying and nonbinary players of Valorant.