Mountain Dew Ventures Into the Metaverse With Virtual Esports Watch Party


The PepsiCo-owned soda is the latest brand to partner with Decentraland

Mountain Dew is the latest brand to venture into the metaverse with a watch party it’s hosting for a major esports tournament this weekend.

The PepsiCo-owned soda has created an experience on the metaverse platform Decentraland where users can congregate to view a simulcast of esports team the New York Subliners play in the Call of Duty League Major IV tournament on a screen within the virtual world. The activation will also feature Mountain Dew-themed wearables for avatars within the platform, mini-games and other forms of virtual engagement.

Mountain Dew’s first foray in the metaverse builds on its longstanding association with the esports world, a natural extension of the status the brand enjoys as a preferred soda among gamers. Mountain Dew has further cultivated its ties to gaming culture with sponsorships of a variety of esports teams, leagues and tournaments and products tailored to those audiences.

The latest activation comes as brands of all kinds, from Playboy to AT&T, are racing to replicate their real-world products and stores in the metaverse, a set of video game-like virtual worlds that first gained mainstream prominence during pandemic lockdowns. But Mountain Dew CMO Pat O’Toole said the brand has waited out the initial rush to ensure its first virtual outing would be more than just a stunt for novelty’s sake.

“We wanted our initial metaverse experience to be something innovative, but more importantly, it needed to be true to the spirit of Mountain Dew,” O’Toole said. “We did not want to innovate just for the sake of innovating. This event works because Mountain Dew fans tell us they are always looking for opportunities to engage with the brand, and Web3 opens up completely new ways to do that.”

Esports sponsorships represent a major opportunity for brands as competitive gaming and game-streaming grow in popularity among younger generations: McKinsey has estimated that the global audience for esports reached 500 million global viewers in 2020. Meanwhile, the consulting firm also recently predicted that the metaverse could generate $5 trillion in value by 2030. With many major gaming platforms also considered part of the metaverse, there is plenty of overlap between these two realms.

A company spokesperson said the event is the first in a series of Web3-related activations that PepsiCo’s Demand Accelerator and PepsiCo Labs plan to hold across different portfolio brands as the soft drink and snack conglomerate continues to experiment with how to best reach consumers in these cryptocurrency-adjacent spaces.

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Patrick Kulp

Patrick Kulp is a Business Reporter at Mashable. Patrick covers brands, advertising and ad technology. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a degree in political science and economics, he previously worked at the Pacific Coast Business Times.

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