Daily

LEVELING UP

A look at youth and gaming

Today, we’re releasing the Leveling Up report, available exclusively to Cassandra Clients. In this report, Cassandra logs on and explores how gaming is woven into so many aspects of Gen Z and Millennials’ lives–it’s more than just a way to spend time, it’s core to more and more Gen Z’s sense of self, it’s a vital avenue for creating IRL and online relationships, and (despite what parents like to say) it can be good for consumers! Truly, gaming is entering its next evolution–how ready are you to play in an industry with an expected growth of over $545 billion by 2028? Cross-industries are already raiding the flourishing industry as they look to gain their slice of collectible consumers- but how do you successfully enter such a passionate, vocal, and fast-evolving community? Read below as we highlight three brands that are finding innovative paths into the game.

HBCUS VARSITY ESPORTS

Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are working together to address gaming’s “lack of racial and gender diversity” to ensure their institutions “can play in diversifying the field" with a varsity esports program running at more than half of the schools. And it’s working. For example, at Alcorn State University, esports attracts many students from distinct backgrounds, everything from athletes to students with no involvement in other campus organizations. Now, Alcorn is working to ensure any student interested in esports has the ability to learn in-demand skills such as “information technology” and “cybersecurity” and therefore positioning their alumni with a clear path to science and technology gaming-related careers.

GUCCI

Prompted by the pandemic, Gucci began investing heavily in advertising in digital spaces. Instead of focusing on the physical, Gucci has begun designing and selling clothing and accessories for avatars, bringing their clothes directly in front of young consumers. The brand has collaborated with Genies, Pokémon Go and Animal Crossing and recently partnered with Roblox to launch three outfits for avatars. Robert Triefus, Gucci’s EVP of brand and customer engagement, explained that the gaming industry is “diverse, it's inclusive, and in that sense, it's an adjacent community to fashion… Games today have a strong correlation with the idea of expressing yourself.”

SWITCH X TWITCH

Twitch recently released an app that allows viewers to easily watch gameplay and follow their favorite streamers directly from their Nintendo Switch. So far, users are still unable to host their own livestream from their Switch, post clips, or participate in the chat simultaneously while watching. While users wait for more Twitch capabilities to become available, it’s a sign of a shift of possible future streaming features similar to their PS5 and XSX competitors. But this time, streaming might be done on the go! This evolution speaks to livestreams’ powerful value in pushing discovery within the gaming community.