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A few months ago, we wrote about the versatility of the gaming space – something that has become increasingly prevalent and appealing in the era of social distancing and stay-at-home. We wanted to revisit this topic, this time with a particular lens on the relevance and opportunity gaming has within the fashion category.In our last piece, we touched on fashion brands leveraging in-game partnerships to feature their own virtual clothing within these digital worlds. However, these fashion/gaming crossovers extend well outside in-game integrations, especially when you consider the number of eyes gaming attracts. Live streaming sits at the core of the gaming genre and most gamers and fans turn to Twitch to get their fill of content. In Q2 of this year, Twitch users spent an estimated 5.2 billion hours viewing content on the platform. This volume of captive eyes provides brands with a unique opportunity for mass exposure.
Influencers in the streaming space are on camera for hours upon hours each week, with millions of fans logging on to watch and engage in a range of conversations. This provides an unprecedented opportunity for exposure that many brands are taking note of. Streamers aren’t just playing a game, they are providing a form of entertainment to their fans, not unlike a musician on-stage at a concert or an actor/actress at an award show. With that, fans aren’t just watching what these streamers are doing but are also playing close attention to what they are wearing and/or what is in the background.
Headphone brands like JBL have partnered with gaming influencers to feature their headphones exclusively during all live streams, ensuring hours-upon-hours of exposure to millions of viewers globally. Additionally, brands across categories including apparel, eyewear (especially blue light lenses) and even footwear – with collections being prominently featured in the influencer’s background – have either increased gifting efforts for a chance at exposure or entered into exclusive, paid partnerships with talent to tap into this growing and engaged audience. Outside of streaming, iconic fashion brands and agencies are even setting up their own gaming divisions. This past August, legendary agency Ford Models established their own e-sports division, adding gaming-endemic talent to their roster to further advance synergies in the gaming and fashion spaces.
While gaming/fashion collaborations may seem like a trendy wave at the moment, this relationship has been bubbling for quite some time and we are likely just seeing the beginning of unique and lucrative partnerships in this space.