Activision’s Call of Duty Championship Engages eSports Fans
The only thing growing faster than live eSports tournaments is the number of consumers tuning in to watch them online. With bridging that gap in mind, Activision crafted an engagement strategy that transformed every corner of its live tournament into a best-in-class broadcast platform that could be seen around the world on practically any type of device.
For the 2014 Call of Duty Championship, the brand leveraged a smart distribution partnership with Microsoft and Major League Gaming ensured eyeballs across multiple platforms for the three-day event, and an even savvier move that had consumers watching the finals exclusively on Xbox Live made it easy for gamers to purchase the latest release.
Attendees of the live event (the venue: a 106,000-square-foot tent called the Event Deck at L.A. Live) stepped into an environment flush with opportunities to immerse themselves in the Call of Duty brand. The layout guided attendees through multiple open-air competition stages where they could get up close and personal with the live matches, and a dramatic main stage and arena that made online viewers feel like they were sitting in the front row.
Teams entering the arena from their VIP player’s lounge (swank!) received the full athlete treatment complete with lighting, special effects and multiple content pieces highlighting each competitor’s background and often emotional journey to the event. The teams on the main stage competed within a custom sound-proof enclosure built specifically to the needs of the competitors, adding an additional layer of excitement to those in the arena, while providing those watching from home with compelling and dramatic angles that captured the emotion and intensity of the players. From the sidelines, top-tier gaming industry talent hosted the broadcasts and provided expert insight and coverage to online viewers. Live Twitter polling results were displayed on the broadcast and images were posted on Instagram to capture the action in the room.
The 2014 Call of Duty Championship was the brand’s most successful consumer-facing event in generating social conversation, exceeding its award-winning Call of Duty XP program by 156 percent. The event was the catalyst for multiple global Twitter trends across the U.S., U.K. and France. Instagram generated over 120,000 engagements, the most received from a single event to date, and organic post reach on Facebook exceeded 5.7 million during the championships, up 166 percent from the prior week.