- Red Bull teamed up with professional gamer and Twitch star Tyler "Ninja" Blevins on a new campaign that includes limited-edition cans and a fan contest, according to a news release shared with Marketing Dive.
- Consumers can visit Ninja.RedBull.com and upload a photo or video showing how they game. Entries will be judged on creativity, authenticity and aesthetic, and a winner and their partner will be flown to a Red Bull gaming event to have a gaming session with Ninja. Runners up will win Ninja merchandise and premium gaming hardware.
- The energy drink brand will also release limited-edition Ninja cans starting April 1. Red Bull surprised Ninja by delivering the can via drone during a photo shoot and released a video showing his reaction.
Teaming up with Ninja, one of the most popular gamers around, could help Red Bull boost its brand awareness and drive sales among gamers, who often sip on energy drinks to power through long gaming sessions. The contest giving fans the chance to meet Ninja could help the energy drink brand increase traffic and engagement to its website, as fans could enjoy the opportunity to share their gaming style. Experiential elements like this tend to resonate with younger consumers, a big gaming segment, as the demographic appreciates opportunities to engage with brands in authentic ways.
How else would we surprise @ninja with the Ninja Red Bull Can? * drone incoming* Available in the U.S. beginning April 1. pic.twitter.com/JjerUW6aNs— Red Bull (@redbull) March 27, 2019
As a top gaming influencer, Ninja has worked with other brands and signed influencer management deals. Marketers seek partnerships with him and others, since they have millions of followers on Amazon's Twitch and social media of mostly tough-to-reach consumers. Frito-Lay's Doritos partnered with Twitch to host a game event, called the Doritos Bowl, with top streamers, including Ninja, who also provided play-by-play commentary in a co-stream of the NFL's "Thursday Night Football."
Gen Z males spend more time following nontraditional sports, like gaming and esports, than traditional sports, according to sports media brand Whistle. Furthermore, 69% welcome brands in nontraditional sports, and 57% think it’s important for companies to sponsor, advertise and otherwise support the sports they watch. Along with Red Bull, other brands seeking out partnerships with gamers to reach these consumers. Procter & Gamble’s Gillette recently announced a partnership with Twitch on the Gillette Gaming Alliance, a team of Twitch players. The campaign offered Twitch Bits for purchases of Gillette products.
Red Bull’s partnership with Ninja follows another recent campaign with Kia and professional racecar driver Collete Davis. The partnership include a three-part YouTube series hosted by Davis and featured Red Bull Driftbrothers Joe and Elias Hountondji.