HyperX defies conventional marketing trends. Rather than focus on a small, select group of partners, the gaming peripheral brand takes a broad approach that includes over 100 business relationships in addition to countless influencers and streamers.
Esports Insider sat down with Daniel Kelley, HyperX Director of Corporate Marketing, and learned that there is, indeed, a method to the madness.
“We started out much like similar peripheral brands in the esports world [by] sponsoring tournaments and teams,” said Kelley, noting that HyperX has sponsored Team Liquid for over a decade.
Over the past five years or so, the marketing focus shifted into making HyperX a relevant brand across multiple gaming demographics. The tagline “We are all gamers” means there’s room at the table for everyone, he said.
Calling all gamers
“We’re not going to limit ourselves to one or two different areas when there are gamers everywhere,” said Kelley.
To reach these customers, Kelley and his team started to look at industry crossover, such as professional athletes and musicians who also love to game. HyperX hosts a number of online events and has ramped up production during COVID-19 to entertain fans at home.
“We’re working harder than ever to facilitate online events and streams where we bring together professional athletes, pro gamers, influencers, etc. than we ever have before,” he said.
On July 24th, for example, HyperX debuted its HXCKED fan series. The first episode featured musician Post Malone playing Call of Duty: Warzone. Future events will include influencers called “HyperX Heroes” that range from professional gamers to musicians and athletes. The roster includes Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics, Mitch Robinson of the Brisbane Lions, and NBA 2K player Arteyo “Dimez” Boyd.
“We have a pretty wide talent roster, if you will, that might not game for a living but they wear that passion for gaming on their sleeve,” said Kelley. “[They still] want to be known for that love and for trying to bring people together in the spirit and the fun of gaming.”
When it comes to teaming up with influencers, Kelley explained, they sometimes take educated risks.
“We have a vetting process but it’s a bit case by case. We also want to support up and coming content creators, streamers, and video game players that might not have the big numbers but they might are on that trajectory,” he said. “If we work with them early on, there’s likely a payoff there in the long run. We’ve done that with streamers like Pokimane.”
Collegiate and high school esports programs have been a valuable new way to reach young gamers, as well. There’s a “ton of activity” at HyperX to help support and grow programs in universities, said Kelley, such as the University of New Haven.
HyperX has increased its investment in collegiate and high school esports, as well as appealing to more casual gamers.
“If you do as many good things as you possibly can, you’ll hopefully get the attention of one of those gamers who might not have thought of HyperX before. That’s why we’re doing this.”
Playing in lockdown
HyperX, like all industries, has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but Kelley focuses on sewing positivity through gaming.
“I’d say that this new reality we’re living in right now has [created a] valuable opportunity,” he said. “There are a lot of people at home wanting to connect with others through gaming and a lot of celebrities and athletes that want to play and [get closer to fans.]”
Of course, video calls are a great way to show off your HyperX headphones, too, he laughed.
HyperX marches on with partnerships both inside and outside the world of gaming. Athletic apparel brand Champion launched a capsule collection with HyperX at the beginning of July, which quickly sold out.
Esports Stadium Arlington penned a deal in June to make HyperX the venue’s preferred peripheral sponsor. World Pro Racing (WPR) named HyperX as its exclusive hardware partner, as well.
Thinking big, treading carefully
Despite the company’s massive partner portfolio, Kelley explained that you can’t just throw a bunch of deals against the wall and hope some of them stick.
“Certainly, at the end of the day, you want a business that’s healthy and profitable,” he said. “We make sure we’re making calculated investments. Hopefully, the nature of us wanting to work with as many organisations and individuals that just want to do good things within gaming will set us apart.
“We have a reputation for being easy to work with. We just want to be a good brand in terms of positivity in the gaming space.“