Chipotle bets big on gaming industry in visibility play
Chain partners with high-profile esports brands to launch own gaming tournament
Nancy Luna, Nation's Restaurant News
Apr 11, 2019
In its quest to become a more visible brand, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. is partnering with esports and lifestyle companies that cater to thousands of professional and amateur gamers.
The company said Thursday that it also is launching its own Chipotle gaming tournament.
The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company said it is working with DreamHack, which produces festivals for gamers that feature esports competitions, live music, exhibitions, creative competitions, local-area network parties and cosplay. The partnership includes Chipotle-sponsored player lounges for two DreamHack festivals held in Dallas and Atlanta.
“The VIP lounge lets players, talent and celebrities relax and refuel with Chipotle in between games and performances,” the company said.
The fast-casual chain said it is also working with esports giant ESL. The company operates international leagues and tournaments for gamers. ESL, Chipotle and DreamHack are launching an amateur tournament dubbed the Chipotle Challenger Series. Fans can participate at DreamHack Dallas and DreamHack Atlanta events.
Champions will win swag, a custom Chipotle trophy and free Chipotle food for a year.
Chris Brandt (left), Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, said the partnership with DreamHack allows Chipotle to become even more established with the esports community. DreamHack’s events generated more than 310,000 visitors last year.
"This sponsorship provides the perfect platform to directly engage new and longtime loyal Chipotle fans on-site and online, and we are excited to recognize and reward possible up-and-coming talent in the space,” Brandt said in a statement.
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