In a unexpected move Subaru of America has partnered with esports agency Damage to create its own $20,000 Subaru Invitational.
The tournament will take place from May 13-14 with eight, as yet unannounced top North American teams competing for the total prize pool of $20,000 (£16,074). The tournament’s main goal is to promote the 2018 Subaru Impreza to the millennial audience.
Eric Park, the Zone Retailer Marketing Manager of Subaru of America had the following to say about the tournament:
“Subaru is proud to support the young enthusiasts of the esports community through hosting our first invite-only tournament.”
“Our goal is to build brand affinity with a highly-engaged, dedicated millennial community that shares our core values and are ready for wherever the road takes them. Millennial esports fans have a fierce dedication to the games and its players. We understand and appreciate that kind of passion and it was an easy decision to dedicate ourselves to the esports movement.”
In addition to the $20,000 prize pool, Damage and Subaru will donate $1,000 (£803) to Anxiety Gaming, a non-profit mental health care organisation with a focus on depression and anxiety among the gaming community.
Brian Kim, the Managing Partner at Damage, also had a few words to say:
“Damage is thrilled to be working with such a passionate automotive brand that genuinely believes in the power of giving back and doing good. As Subaru’s esports partner, this is a tremendous opportunity to help design a tournament to reach our audience and further amplify esports on a global level.”
Subaru has even created its own Subaru Esports Twitch channel to broadcast the event. It’s not the first car manufacturer to get involved in esports as back in January, Audi moved in to sponsor Danish team Astralis.
Esports Insider says: Seeing car manufacturers moving into esports is a bit of an oddball. While on one hand the company is doing this to promote its new car, it’s also helping bring esports closer to the mainstream.