RTX in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.
Photography by Jack Plunkett—Courtesy of RTX
By Jonathan Chew
April 23, 2016

Pizza Hut is returning as the title sponsor for RTX, an annual gaming and Internet-culture event that is expected to draw around 60,000 avid attendees.

The pizza chain owned by Yum! Brands (yum) will partner with RTX’s organizer and Web video production studio Rooster Teeth in hosting tournaments, booths and other activities throughout the weekend.

The entrance of Pizza Hut last year as title sponsor—which the brand reportedly paid an estimated $1 million for, according to the Austin Business Journal—continues a string of recent sponsorship deals for the franchise. Last August, Pizza Hut entered fantasy football sports when it agreed to sponsor ESPN’s Fantasy Football.

It is with big players in the video game industry, however, that Pizza Hut is making an interesting push. Last October, the brand partnered with digital multichannel network Endemol Beyond to sponsor a series on the new eSports and gaming network Smasher, reported AdWeek.

Pizza Hut has also partnered with Major League Gaming, as well as Machinima and Twitch.tv to supply pizza to eSports teams, according to adexchanger.com.

RTX is a particularly influential part of the gaming community, as it’s an annual event that draws ardent fans and players, and where hugely popular games like Halo 4 and Rainbow Six: Siege are made available to gamers to play with for the first time.

Pizza Hut is a part of a growing number of brands, such as Coca-Cola (ko) and Red Bull, who are trying to tap into the huge audience inside eSports. It’s estimated that there could be 335 million eSports fans by 2017.

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