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    Benefit Cosmetics reinforces gaming link with 9-tournament series

    • Benefit Cosmetics is hosting what is says is the beauty industry’s first gaming tournament series for women, according to a press release. The nine-tournament series will take place on the brand’s gaming community site — powered by Rival — and will stream on Twitch, while promotions on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter may generate additional buzz.
    • The event begins with the Apex Legends Invitational on May 7, when gaming groups Black Girl Gamers and The GameHers will lead the Electronic Arts-sponsored competition with 48 players invited to battle in the Apex Legends video game. Tournaments later in 2022 will be open to all female-identifying amateur gamers in the U.S.
    • The tournament series builds on Benefit Cosmetics’ Game Face program it introduced in 2020 to connect the beauty and gaming communities.

    Benefit Cosmetics’ upcoming tournament series adds another level to the brand’s gaming-related efforts that kicked off two years ago. The Game Face program started as an influencer-oriented push to connect gaming and beauty through streamers sharing their “game face” looks on Twitch. It expanded in 2021 with the launch of a branded Twitch channel and content centering around creators’ pre-streaming makeup routines, following up with financial support to grow selected streamers’ channels.

    Now, Benefit Cosmetics is doubling down on its commitment to gaming with a monthslong tournament series designed to amplify emerging female streamers and draw attention to the challenges they face in the male-dominated gaming space.

    “By expanding the Game Face campaign with the beauty industry’s first-ever tournament series for women in gaming, and by offering a substantial prize pool, we’re investing in the careers of the underrepresented in gaming,” Toto HaBa, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Benefit Cosmetics, said in the announcement.

    Since 2020, Benefit Cosmetics has also partnered with gamers on Facebook’s and YouTube’s gaming platforms to extend its reach beyond Twitch to mainstream social channels. E.l.f. Cosmetics has taken a similar approach to connecting its beauty brand with the gamer community on both Twitch and TikTok. The company last year hosted a talent contest on TikTok, offering $25,000 and visibility online while reinforcing its commitment to what it calls “Gameup,” a term for the intersection of gaming and makeup.

    In addition to Benefit Cosmetics’ upcoming tournament series, the beauty brand is looking to support female gamers in unique ways this year. Benefit Cosmetics has begun to buy subscriptions of certain Twitch streamers it has no official partnership with and letting those streamers dole them out to followers for free. It’s a creative way for streamers to grow their following, while Benefit Cosmetics can further link its brand to the gaming space.

    Though the beauty brand is mostly focused on community-building with its upcoming tournament series, live in-game events offer a unique opportunity for brands. Nearly 25% of U.S. gamers say they attended an in-game event in the past year, per Deloitte’s 2022 digital media trend report. However, millennials and men made up the biggest demographics of attendees. Over 80% of those consumers who attended an in-game event also made a purchase directly linked to the event, brand sponsor or individual streamer.

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