- Miller Lite is now the exclusive alcoholic beverage of esports organization Complexity Gaming, according to a press release. Complexity, which sponsors players and teams, is co-owned by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and recently rebranded to align more closely with the NFL team, per SportsPro.
- Miller and Complexity will jointly develop a new video series where Complexity's players and influencers recount their best esports stories. The MillerCoors brand will also provide care packages of Miller Lite products and co-branded merchandise for of-age players.
- The partnership additionally includes sponsorship of the Miller Lite Player Lounge inside the upcoming new Frisco, Texas, headquarters for Complexity, the GameStop Performance Center (GSPC). Miller will host watch parties at the GSPC.
This partnership is only the latest indication that major brands see competitive video gaming as a substantial marketing channel. Esports ad revenue is forecast to exceed $200 million by next year. That spike comes as the number of people in the U.S. who will watch an esports event at least once a month will reach 30 million this year, according to eMarketer. With the new partnership, MillerCoors can raise brand awareness and loyalty with millennial and (of-age) Gen Zers, cohorts that have moved away from mass market beer to craft beer, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages.
The Miller sponsorship demonstrates how brands are assembling full marketing packages, in this case including original content with influencers, in-person events, co-branded merchandise and sponsorship of event spaces. While details of the original content have yet to be revealed, video content — which drives purchases with millennials — or even a contribution to the burgeoning branded podcast space seems like a possible extension of the campaign.
MillerCoors joins a long list of marketers that have partnered with esports organizations. Earlier this month, Foot Locker revealed a collaboration with Champion Athleticwear to sell and promote branded apparel from esports teams, and to support a tournament that will be streamed on Amazon’s Twitch gaming channel at Champion’s Times Square store.
Similarly, AT&T became the founding sponsor of a new mobile esports league and Unilever's grooming brand Axe has partnered with esports content and tournament provider Eleague. Intel, Coca-Cola and Mercedes-Benz have also recently backed esports events.