Ford – yes, we’re talking about the automobile manufacturer – plans to quote “step up its involvement in gaming” and esports in the immediate future. The company isn’t being specific about its plans just yet, but we’ll learn exactly what it has in mind at Gamescom, which kicks off next week on August 20.
Ford previously partnered with Microsoft to give away a 2017 Focus RS to the winner of the Forza Racing Championship a few years ago, but that seems to have been the extent of the company’s involvement in competitive gaming since then. But Ford did take last year’s Gamescom as a chance to reveal its Ranger Raptor truck.
Curiously, Ford put up a job listing for an esports-focused marketing position a few months ago, seeking someone who can provide “clear objectives of how Ford can use gaming to build brand loyalty.” Among the qualifications, the company wants someone who can build relationships with companies like Riot, Activision Blizzard, Epic, and Google’s Stadia division, as well as esports teams, leagues, and promoters.
Esports games might just be the latest gold rush for brands looking to reach the appropriate demographics, but I guess we’ll see what Ford has in mind next week.
Ford’s Gamescom booth – which is a concept I’m not sure I’ll ever be comfortable with – will include a “a range of gaming experiences, from immersive 4D thrills to arcade-style action,” according to the company’s press release. 2019 continues to be a wild place.