Honda targets buyers through gaming

16 August 2019 - 10:02 By Motor News Reporter
Shogo Yoshida (Gilles Honda V12) of Japan competes in the Nations Cup during the Gran Turismo 2019 World Tour event at Pavillon Gabriel on March 15, 2019 in Paris, France.
Shogo Yoshida (Gilles Honda V12) of Japan competes in the Nations Cup during the Gran Turismo 2019 World Tour event at Pavillon Gabriel on March 15, 2019 in Paris, France.
Image: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Honda is pumping more marketing dollars into competitive video-gaming to protect its status as the dominant carmaker among young, first-time buyers in the US, reports Bloomberg.

The Japanese automotive giant is becoming the official automaker of Riot Games’s League of Legends Championship Series, one of North America’s biggest e-sports leagues. The news comes eight months after Honda signed a partnership with Team Liquid, a three-time league champion.

THESE YOUNGERAUDIENCES THATWE ’RE TRYING TOREACH REALLYPREFER E-SPORTSAND SOCIAL MEDIA.

Honda’s goal is to meet young consumers on their own terms. The global e-sports audience consists of more than 450-million people, according to analysis firm Newzoo, and North America represents the largest market. That group is largely young, tech-savvy consumers who don’t interact with marketing in the same way as their older peers.

They’re also a valuable commodity in the automotive world. Millennials and Gen Z are the only generations increasing their share of car sales right now, and Honda is well positioned with those groups. Its Civic and Accord models are the top-selling vehicles for first-time buyers, according to the company.

“These younger audiences that we’re trying to reach really prefer e-sports and social media over more traditional media,” said Phil Hruska, manager of media strategy at American Honda. “We look at these deals as a social-media platform, which is a great evolution of where the eyeballs are going.”

The announcement comes just a few days after the e-sports and gaming industries reacted vociferously to politicians — including President Donald Trump — referencing violent video games as a potential inspiration for the mass-shooting epidemic in the US.


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