- State Farm's mascot, Jake from State Farm, debuted in NBA 2K22, per details emailed to Marketing Dive. The latest edition of the popular NBA 2K series launched on Sept. 10.
- Jake appears as a non-playable character (NPC) in the game's The City mode that users can interact with at the in-game NGHBR GOODS storefront. Players are then able to unlock a Jake-inspired skin for their character and purchase in-game, branded apparel items, such as the mascot's khaki pants and red shirt.
- State Farm will host a "Jakeover" livestream on Twitch on Oct. 2 featuring well-known NBA 2K influencers. The effort sees the insurance company looking to engage with the gaming community in an authentic way.
State Farm bringing its popular Jake mascot to NBA 2K22 is an innovative way for the insurance company to engage with the gaming community by transcending traditional advertising. With the creation of an NPC and a digital storefront, in-game signage and a sponsorship of the "Assist of the Game" feature, State Farm can put its brand front-and-center in a way that mimics sponsorships in real-world sports.
The NGHBR GOODS storefront features apparel that players can purchase for their characters, including polos, khakis, jerseys, letterman jackets, retro gym shorts, backpacks, sweatbands and other gear that features the brand's signature colors and is inspired by NBA style over the years. In-game apparel is emerging as a way for brands to interact with consumers, especially as interest in gaming and the so-called metaverse continues to grow.
To further promote the integration, State Farm will host a "Jakeover" livestream on Twitch on Oct. 2, featuring to-be-named streamers and influencers. The livestream will also feature giveaways of custom-made NGHBR GOODS items. Twitch continues to mature as a marketing platform and has seen its daily users nearly double to more than 30 million this year from about 17.5 million in 2020.
State Farm is the latest brand to integrate with the popular NBA 2K franchise. Unilever deodorant brand Degree included in-game branded trivia, digital wall takeovers and more as part of a multichannel campaign that launched this summer, while Burger King Spain tied trick shots to real-world rewards last year.
Jake from State Farm debuted in 2011 and was central to the brand's first Super Bowl spot earlier this year. The 30-second ad, created with The Marketing Arm, starred rapper Drake as the stand-in for the character, and featured actor Paul Rudd in a cameo.