Following a strategy developed by its activation and sponsorship agency, Brand Inc, Toyota South Africa has taken the esports high ground with the launch this week of The Toyota Gaming Engine (TTGE).
The launch of TTGE is yet another world-first first for the South African-based vehicle manufacturer, being the first of the businesses within the multinational Toyota Motor Corporation organisation to build and launch a proprietary purpose-built gaming platform.
Part of the HaveYouHeard group, Brand Inc is a unique sports sponsorship agency combining the experience and expertise of a traditional sports consultancy with that of an esports specialist.
It successfully helped Toyota SA quickly establish itself as a force in the esports and gaming arena with the FIFA 21 and WRC 9 Toyota esports Challenges, which were designed and brought to market last year.
Commenting on Toyota’s investment in eSports, Vice President Marketing, Glenn Crompton, said: “Gaming is part of a world without borders, and gives Toyota the opportunity to engage with a younger, more connected, audience. It’s a natural fit for our brand and we’re excited to be a pioneer in the space.”
Brand Inc’s Head of Strategy, Ryan McFadyen, added: “The world of sports is changing – people want entertainment, information, inspiration, access and the ability to be an active participant in the games they love, not just viewers.
“Smart marketers have realised that big brand presence in the form of sponsorships, billboards and ringside or fieldside advertising boards doesn’t cut it any more. They are looking past the traditional channels and into new ones leveraging new innovative ways to build an integrated approach to their sponsorships.
“A great example of a sports body which has gotten is right is Formula 1, which has real world races, strong content output in drive to survive, live event broadcast, Formula 1 eSports, influencer integration through their drivers and an integrated digital amplification strategy which includes the highlights of practice and qualification rounds as well as the final race.
“This innovative approach has seen a 20% growth in viewership resulting in 73 million new fans – and the 16 to 35 age bracket drove 77% of this growth. Netflix’s Drive to Survive and Virtual GP series were cited as the key reasons behind this age group’s growing interest.
“TTGE will ride this wave. Intended as the ‘go-to’ hub for pro and amateur esport players of all skill levels, it will give members the opportunity to better their skills and up their games as well as be part of a community of enthusiasts, compete in challenges, tournaments and events, track their progress and earn their way to great prizes in an environment that blurs the line between real-world and virtual sport,” McFadyen said.
The TTGE platform was designed in partnership with African Cyber Gaming League (ACGL). Its official launch trailer can be seen here: The Toyota Gaming Engine Launch trailer.
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