Gillette Activates eSport ESL League of Legends & xPeke Partnerships Via Twitch, Instagram, 3D Printing & Content Series

Gillette ESL 1Gillette ESL 2Gillette ESL 3

Late January sees shaving giant Gillette dive into the eSports revolution by activating its new sponsorship with ESL’s ‘League of Legends Intel Extreme Masters (IEM) World Championship’ and its recent ambassador deal with eSports star Enrique ‘xPeke’ Cedeño.


The property partnership itself was announced via an eSports appropriate platform in the form of an exclusive Gillette live stream on fast growing gaming streaming service TwitchTV ( which offered viewers and fans a chance to meet the brand’s new global gaming ambassador.


League Of Legends is arguably the most widely played professional eSports game and the 2017 edition of the ESL hosted tournament (which takes place in Katowice, Poland between 24 and 26 February) will offer the male-focused brand widespread multiplatform exposure through the assets of one of eSports’ leading properties.


ESL’s online broadcast of Intel Extreme Masters alone reaches more than 20 million viewers on Twitch each season.


ESL, part of the international digital entertainment group MTG, is the world’s largest eSports company.


The thrust of the partnership activation is being built around demonstrating a shared passion for cutting edge technology.


In addition to the Twitch live stream announcement event, the activation also kicked off with a new commercial starring the brand’s new eSports ‘athlete’ ambassador ‘xPeke’ Cedeño (who is competing at the IEM games).



The ad is also amplified on Gillette’s social channels including Twitter,






and perhaps most prominently Instagram via with a #DayInTheLife Instagram story on the platform.




These campaign assets also drive consumer to the brand’s ‘Pursuit of Precision’ content series which aims to bring eSports fans closer to xPeke as he visits the Gillette World Shaving Headquarters in Boston and discusses topics ranging from the precision required to be a top eSports player and the pressures of owning a League of Legends team during the current eSports boom.


The P&G-owned brand’s first ever eSports athlete, Cedeño, is a well known professional gamer, team owner, and a former winner of the IEM Katowice Most Valuable Player (MVP).


‘As a former IEM Katowice MVP and current team owner, I understand the relentless pursuit of precision required to be the best player I can possibly be,’ said xPeke himself.


‘Gillette obsesses over razor blades the same way I obsess over League of Legends strategy and it’s that common dedication that made me realize how much Gillette actually has in common with gamers. I’m happy and humbled to be their first global eSports ambassador and get the chance to show more of the world how much precision eSports requires.’


While the on-site event leverage programme at IEM Katowice will see Gillette create specialised, customised razor handles via 3D printers for both fans and participating teams at its mobile RZR MKR Design Studio.


Plus, the brand will provide grooming services to all League of Legend’s competitors throughout the opening weekend.


Other activity will range from in-arena branding to hosting autograph sessions and other activities with xPeke.


The initiative is being developed in harness with MMK, Ketchum Sports & Entertainment, Grey New York and Hill & Knowlton Strategies London.


‘It’s been exciting and eye-opening as we’ve immersed ourselves in the gaming community and discovered that both professional and amateur gamers have a lot in common with other premier athletes and sports fanatics,’ outlines Gillette global VP John Mang.


‘Gamers at all levels recognize the importance of precision – split seconds and minute movements make big differences. We get that obsession with precision better than anyone.’


‘Gillette has been a leader in sports for many years, often partnering with the top leagues and players, and we are thrilled to welcome such an iconic global brand to our ESL family,’ says Craig Levine, CEO of ESL North America.


‘Gillette understands the growing popularity of eSports and will play an integral role in helping us enhance the fan experience at the IEM Katowice World Championship.’





This deal and its associated activation mark the entrance of another huge global brand into the rapidly expanding eSports sponsorship landscape.


The brand itself claims that has aligned with some of the world’s most respected and talented athletes for the last 100 years and this new deal continues that tradition in a new space.


Indeed, xPeke’s arrival into Gillette’s athlete ambassador stable was even supported socially by one of the brand’s other leading global sports stars in the form of a tweet from Brazil and FC Barcelona footballer Neymar.



While the use of property-relevant platforms like TwitchTV and demographically-relevant channels like Instagram certainly seem sensible, the hero ad itself may well fit in the classic, traditional Gillette approach to commercials, but it doesn’t look much like cutting-edge fresh, youth-creative to us.








Intel Extreme Masters


Hill & Knowlton Strategies London


Ketchum Sports & Entertainment


Grey New York


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