At Hollister, our focus is on showing up where our consumer is and building authentic connections with our Gen Z audience. With over 3 billion gamers worldwide, over 90% of Gen Z considering themselves a gamer, and 2/3 of Gen Z males saying gaming is a core component of who they are – gaming has quickly become a vital part of engaging our consumer.
Previously, we had been successful in authentically showing up in the gaming world via credible partnerships in smaller ways, kicking off with our Fortnite tournament earlier this year with Mission Control that rewarded gamers for doing what they love, but we were excited to delve even further into gaming – and we wanted to do it right!
We wanted to dig deeper and go beyond slapping our logo on event or tournament. Our goal was to show up in the space in a thoughtful way that adds value to our customer’s lives and helps support their passions in order to drive brand awareness, credibility, and affinity within gaming.
Hollister is not a gaming endemic brand – we don't claim to be. But we know Gen Z, and we knew in order to best support our Gen Z gamer we would need to find an incredible partner!
So, in 2021 we called in the best – and named Fortnite World Cup Champion Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf our Chief Gaming Scout, making this the first brand partnership with a professional gamer in this capacity.
As part of his Chief Gaming Scout role and year-long partnership, Bugha co-designed his own gaming product launch as well as scouted the best and brightest streamers for Team Hollister, the brand’s new gamer training program focused on supporting rising gamers and taking them to the next level. The partnership and program was fully multiplatform across Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, and Discord.
To announce the partnership, the pair launched a co-created, limited-edition hoodie and sweatpant set that was co-created with fans on IG Story, sold out online in 24 hours, and restocked exclusively on Instagram for 48 hours until a second sell out. The set was a hoodie and sweatpants combo, in Bugha’s favorite colors - blue and black, and made for gaming with large zip pocket for snacks and a roomy hood that fits over a headset with easter egg messages on the set that only true fans decoded. Prior to launch, the set was gifted in custom lockbox with a secret code created by a local artist, and built hype via earned posts from TFue, Dr Lupo, and SypherPK on IG, Twitter, and TikTok. The product was also available in store in US and Europe, with impressive video wall displays across select locations!
Following the successful launch, Bugha focused his efforts on scouting the best up-and-coming talent for Team Hollister, and selected three of the best rising streamers to train with him for Team Hollister via a series of live challenges featured on the Twitch homepage. Those recruits - Emadgg, Sommerset & Alixxa - officially made it into Team Hollister, and made their first appearance together with Bugha for a 2 hour livestream on Giving Tuesday in order to raise money for The Hollister Confidence Project, Hollister's non profit dedicated to teen wellness. Now officially on the team, all three gamers won monthly mentorship sessions on Discord with Bugha to help the Team Hollister trainees on their journey to becoming the next big streamer!