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The Recipe for Rewarding Gaming Partnerships


Looking to engage gen Z? Connecting to the gaming community is key. When done right, brands can energize gamers authentically through partnerships with their favorite properties.

Microwaveable snack Hot Pockets creates IRL and virtual gaming experiences, from custom packaging to in-game incentives, exclusives, and unlockables. With the help of tripleclix, the brand partnered with iconic franchises like Halo, PUBG, and Magic the Gathering, and discussed rewarding and engaging efforts tailored to fit varying gaming lifestyles.

Key Takeaways

The gaming community in the U.S. is large, and still growing; there are currently 217,000,000 gamers in the U.S., illustrating how large this demographic is. To give more context, last year, 220 million people saw a Disney movie in theatres — while Fortnite has 255 million players in May 2023.

The speakers shared more key stats regarding the gaming community in the U.S., including:

  • The global gaming industry is worth $187 billion; comparatively, the global film and TV is worth $105 billion and N.A. sports is worth $80 billion.
  • 52 percent of gamers are male with average age of 32.
  • 48 percent of gamers are female with average age of 34.
  • 67 percent of adults (over 18) are gamers.
  • 76 percent of kids (under 18) are gamers.

For Hot Pockets, gen Z became a key target, considering most play games. Gen Z also comprises 30 percent of the global population, illustrating a huge need to speak to this generation. More facts about the generation, as presented by the speakers, include:

  • 45 percent of gen Z controls all global luxury spending by 2030.
  • 360 billion in disposable income and spend mostly on gaming, food, and clothing.
  • 98 percent play video games.
  • 89 percent play games with others.
  • 70 percent consider gaming a key part of their lifestyle.
  • 13 hours average time spent gaming per week.

Thus, the brand set out to create ownable, relevant, and functional experiences within the gaming and entertainment space.

Action Steps

Case study:

Hot Pockets created its Pockets for Bits campaign: For a limited time, gamers were able to get free Twitch Bits to "cheer on" their favorite streamers. Gamers were able to earn up to 2,500 Bits per purchase (and no redemption limits).

The brand partnered with NRG Esports, which helped create a content strategy across channels which led to:

  • 104 impressions across YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Twitch
  • 52 million social views across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter
  • 3.4 million engagements across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter
  • 4.4 billion impressions with Twitch branding overlay

"Heating Up: The Recipe for Rewarding Gaming Partnerships." Bryan Waddell, brand marketing manager at Hot Pockets; Christopher Erb, founder and managing partner at tripleclix. ANA 1-Day: Why Experiential Marketing Works, 6/27/23.

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