Exchange Support of Army Esports Drives Relevancy, Builds Loyalty for Soldiers

Two Soldiers play a video game against a background with Twitch, Exchange and Army Entertainment logos.

Sgt. 1st Class Chris Brown (left) won the first Road to TwitchCon esports event at Camp Mabry, a National Guard installation in Texas.

The Exchange is partnering with Army Entertainment, an Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Family and MWR Program, to bring esports tournaments to installations around the world for a chance to go to TwitchCon 2019 in September.

The “Street Fighter V” Road to TwitchCon qualifiers are part of an ongoing effort to recruit Soldiers through their gaming skills. The tournaments, most of which are broadcast on Twitch, are open to all active-duty and Army National Guard Soldiers.

Randy McKinley, division merchandise manager for electronics, leads Exchange vendor support for the esports tournaments. The Merchandising Directorate garnered sponsorships from brands such as Sony and ACER, which provided consoles, software and more to award the winners.

At the tournaments, the Exchange team—with support from associates in the field—highlights the Exchange benefit and relevancy as well as services and programs for Soldiers, such as the BE FIT. The Twitch broadcast features information about the Exchange mission and airs videos about the Veterans online shopping benefit during game breaks.

“We have been looking for ways to form relationships with young, single Soldiers,” McKinley said. “Teaming up with IMCOM to support these tournaments provides an opportunity to build a community around the Exchange so these young Soldiers become familiar with us and what we have to offer.”

Master Sgt. Billy Richardson has served 26 years active duty and attended the first event at Camp Mabry, a National Guard installation in Texas.

“To see all the Soldiers out here and come together—that’s good stuff,” Richardson said. “Anything that can get Soldiers interested in what we do is a good tool.”

‘Platform’ for Exchange message

Twitch broadcasts on Army Entertainment’s Twitch channel, allowing Soldiers’ family and friends to tune in from afar. Winners earn a spot at TwitchCon 2019 in San Diego from Sept. 27 to Sept. 29.

Now the perfect time for the Exchange to get involved in esports, McKinley said.

“The entertainment industry is increasingly turning digital,” McKinley said. “It is important for us to find a way to maintain relevance for the service members. Sponsoring esports tournaments provides a platform to drive the Exchange message home.”

Upcoming Road to TwitchCon qualifiers include:

  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord, June 1
  • S. Army Garrison Humphreys, June 14
  • Fort Gordon, June 22
  • Fort Riley, June 22

Associates can watch Facebook Live videos from the following events:

 

Check out these great photos from the Camp Mabry and DC Armory events:

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