- Marriott Bonvoy, the hotel chain’s loyalty platform, is sponsoring a new digital variety show that highlights the esports and gaming culture of Asia, per details shared in an email with Marketing Dive.
- “Gamer’s Paradise” was produced by One Championship subsidiary One Esports and runs for 15 episodes, each centered on a different theme and promoting regional hotels in Marriott’s portfolio. The series is hosted by Eri Neeman and One Esports personality MikaFabs.
- “Gamer’s Paradise” premieres July 4 across One Esports channels including Facebook, Twitch, YouTube and AfreecaTV, a Korean peer-to-peer streaming service. Marriott’s support shows the brand angling to reach an enthusiast group not traditionally targeted by the hospitality sector.
Travel may not be closely associated with a stationary activity like gaming, but Marriott clearly wants to grow affinity with adherents to a hobby that has seen its popularity skyrocket during the pandemic. To get its Bonvoy loyalty program in front of a wider audience of gamers and esports fans, the chain is backing a new digital content series that amplifies how diverse gaming culture is in Asia, with a focus on Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Debuting in the thick of summer travel season, “Gamer’s Paradise” will cover a variety of genres and topics, from fighting and sports offerings to retro titles and video game subcultures like cosplay, a portmanteau of costume play. Each installment is broken up into five segments: a panel discussion; an in-depth interview with a noteworthy gaming personality; a “Gamer’s Haven” portion spotlighting Marriott facilities; a delve into memorable video game worlds, many based on real locations; and a slate of geek-themed party games. New episodes will air weekly in English on Mondays.
Marriott joins a rush of non-endemic marketers leveling up their gaming media strategies as desirable consumer groups like Gen Z and millennials show a clear preference for the category. Tying sponsorships to content in the form of livestreams and digital video programming is common, since many gamers turn to platforms like Twitch and YouTube for entertainment over linear TV. Honda earlier this week promoted the launch of a “Hondaverse” space in the multiplayer game Fortnite with a series of Twitch livestreams hosted by creator SypherPK.
Marriott Bonvoy acting as a title sponsor of “Gamer’s Paradise” comes as the travel industry experiences a bounce back from earlier pandemic lows. Through April, travel advertisers increased their marketing spend 43% year-on-year to hit $623 million, according to MediaRadar.
The One Esports tie-up also follows Marriott revamping its ad sales business. The company in May rolled out the Marriott Media Network, an omnichannel cross-platform ad solution that leans heavily on data derived from Bonvoy, which has more than 164 million members. Executives recently told AdExchanger that the network will initially focus on editorial and content products.