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    Mike and Ike sweetens esports brand’s bid at winning over Fortnite fans

    • Mike and Ike has signed on as the exclusive candy sponsor of esport brand Dignitas’ new Fortnite collective, according to a news release.
    • The marketer will back content plays featuring Dignitas creators, including two video series, “In the Mix” and “Sweet Plays,” the latter of which is running on TikTok. Mike and Ike is also helping put on a “Flavor Brawl” competition.
    • The tie-up kicks off July 14 with a stream hosted by Piero “pgod” Ramirez through his Twitch channel where viewers can win Mike and Ike products, in-game Fortnite currency and Dignitas merchandise. Mike and Ike continues to expand its esports strategy to connect with young consumers who closely follow the industry.

    Mike and Ike, which is manufactured by family-owned Just Born Quality Confections, continues to experiment in the emergent esports category in the chase for Gen Z consumers. The deal marks the first Fortnite-specific partnership for Dignitas, speaking to the enduring popularity of the multiplayer title developed by Epic Games that has increasingly factored into marketers’ plans for the metaverse.

    Dignitas is a well-established esports name, tracing its roots back to the early 2000s, before “esports” was commonly used in the marketing arena. However, the organization is a relative newcomer to Fortnite, only forming an official collective for the game in May.

    Dignitas in 2019 created a parent organization called New Meta Entertainment after raising $30 million from investors. The move signaled ambitions to extend into broader entertainment and media fields beyond gaming, along with the potential to seek out more integrated brand opportunities.

    Notching an official candy sponsor helps further content initiatives, including a TikTok series, that could better ingrain Dignitas in the vibrant Fortnite community. For Mike and Ike, the deal offers the chance to connect with gaming creators who have wide followings and an established sense of trust with their audiences.

    Ramirez, who’s helping lead off the partnership with a Twitch stream, has over 830,000 subscribers on the Amazon-owned video platform. Other Dignitas Fortnite creators include Lucas “Dukez” Cardenas, Matthew “Mero” Faitel, Tyla Decker and Amber “AlarmingAmber” Pettinato.

    Mike and Ike has made a number of bets on gaming and centered much of its social messaging on platforms like Twitter around the industry. In 2019, it teamed with Philadelphia-based Nerd Street Gamers, where it has worked on competitions and activations related to games like Valorant. It has also supported competitive events put on by the Team Liquid brand.

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