Be an enabler to be accepted in the e-sports community: Pia Schorner

Schorner, Head of Gaming & Sponsoring, BMW Group, Germany, shared how the automaker has found success in e-sports, at the e4m Game On Summit

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Published: Mar 14, 2022 8:40 AM  | 3 min read
Pia Schorner

The gaming sector has grown into a thriving industry with a large number of gamers and streamers being added to the mix over the past few years. With the increasing digital penetration and internet usage, the gaming and e-sports industry has made technological leaps and is now drawing the attention of consumers like never before. 

At the second edition of the e4m Game On Summit, which took place virtually on March 11, Pia Schorner, Head of Gaming & Sponsoring, BMW Group, Germany, shared the success story of the automaker after the group ventured into the gaming industry, how the brand conquered the era of e-sports with its futuristic strategies that helped attract new buyers and the road ahead. 

Schorner began with the growth of the gaming industry globally and emphasised that BMW has left no stone unturned in the e-gaming and e-sports domains. She said people usually don’t connect BMW with e-sports but the automaker has proven itself time and again by foraying into something that interests consumers at large. She touched upon the topic of brand building and asserted that looking at the rising demand of gaming and e-sports, BMW decided to foray into the sector to raise brand awareness and to drive competition within this community. 

Talking about the goals of BMW for the future, Schorner said the automaker wants to raise brand awareness and desirability, drive the competition, and position itself as a tech brand in the near future. “It really took a lot of time to really understand the community. We focused on embracing the scene know-how, acknowledged the gaming community and their thoughts, and interacted at an eye-level,” she said.

Diving deep into the e-sports sector, Schorner said BMW identified some sweet spots within the e-sports ecosystem, and chose the right team, the right games, the right method and the right tournaments to drive the competition. Emphasising on how the brand engaged with the gaming community and how it strengthened its brand positioning, Schorner said that to be part of the community of this e-sports hemisphere, it is important to really be authentic and not resort to the usual way of advertising. She said BMW took up new and brave ways of communication to be really rebel-like and then ruled the gaming market. “Our results from all the planning was that we signed a one of five of the best ‘League of Legends’ teams in the world to jointly lift up e-sports”, she added.

Speaking about the BMW Berlin Brawl event, she said that it was the brand’s first live show which was aimed to bring the gaming community together with the gamers to enable the community to experience the reality. BMW then continued the rivalry by implementing ‘The Manga in 2021’- ‘Heroes of Rivalry’ to bring together gamers and streamers from across the globe. “Manga was unusual but was embraced by a lot of different types of people from different age groups. This was great for us because every player on our team was the hero himself in this Manga”, she said.

Concluding the session, Schorner listed out a few rules to become an accepted player in the community and said, “Be brave and try something new even if it doesn't fit the usual brand positioning”. She further said that the golden rule to leave a mark in the market is that a brand should never put a product into a game, where the product feels unnatural. “Being an enabler is a good way to be accepted in the community”, she added.

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