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Rivalry turns attention to Brazil in latest influencer marketing campaign

The emerging betting market in Brazil is capturing more and more international attention, as Canadian esports-focused operator Rivalry becomes the latest firm to make a move.

Rivalry’s latest marketing campaign features Brazilian esports influencer Gustavo “Baiano” Gomes. The campaign features Baiano and Rivalry, with the key goal being to ‘tap into Brazilian fans and their religious-like passion for national teams’. 

The campaign will go live for the League of Legends World Championship, an ‘esports marquee tournament’. Two objectives are being served by this campaign – firstly, the aforementioned desire to increase engagement with Brazilian esports fans. Secondly, Rivalry has noted the LoL World Championship as being one of its most important markets.

As an esports betting operator, it is unsurprising that League of Legends – one of the most popular esports titles worldwide – is a significant market for Rivalry, with the World Championship generating 40% of its sportsbook handle during the period it was running last year.

In this year’s campaign, Baiano is seen phoning a friend to help him guide Brazilian esports team LOUD to victory in the World Championship, with his friend being a ‘half-human-half-goat’ representing Rivalry.

This surreal tone continues throughout much of the campaign, as Baiano is presented with a case of voodoo dolls of pro-esports players, after which he and the Canadian company use ‘dark magic’ to influence events, starting with a 2-0 win for LOUD.

This somewhat unconventional content is not uncommon for Rivalry, which has placed using memes and internet culture at the heart of its marketing strategy, largely due to its target audience being Gen Z and younger millennial audiences.

Steven Salz, Rivalry CEO, has emphasised this approach and the success it has had for Rivalry in several interviews with SBC, explaining how around 97-98% of its customer base are either Gen Z or millennial.

In the 25th issue of the SBC Leaders magazine, Salz offered a breakdown of Rivalry’s engagement with influencers – such as Baiano – and the significance of this for appealing to its demographic audience.

“Influencers are approaching our global team asking to join a partner programme and become an official partner. I can’t imagine many sports brands are having that experience, and we’ve noticed that some are getting targeted by other brands once we sign them.

“We put a massive creative powerhouse behind our influencers, we plan massive activations, we find people for them to collaborate with in the local market and ultimately create long-term leverage.” 

Meanwhile, the campaign also underscores the growing importance of the Brazilian market, for both esports and the gambling industry as a whole. 

With the federal bill to regulate sports betting now under consideration in the country’s Senate, a plethora of high-profile international operators are eagerly awaiting the launch of what is predicted to be one of the world’s biggest betting markets.

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