Internal US Army documents have revealed that the military is still focusing much of its recruiting efforts in the worlds of gaming and esports. According to the documents, the military poured millions into sponsoring high-profile esports tournaments, broadcasts and gaming events in an effort to shore up Gen Z recruitment.
These documents, which were obtained by Vice, show that the US military is still heavily involved in the gaming sphere. Said documents point to a $1 million investment on behalf of the Army to sponsor the Twitch stream of the HBCU Showdown esports event, in an effort to “focus on the growth of women, blacks and Hispanics.”
Also, Obligations it was specifically mentioned as a useful recruiting tool for the Army. $750,000 was allocated to sponsor the Obligations League, as well as aura TV show and is the home of Paramount+. Apparently, the Army also had plans to sponsor mobile call of duty to the tune of $200,000, but, well, it should be pretty obvious what scuttled those particular plans.
In August 2021, an internal Army email reportedly revealed that the Army would back down on the Obligations endorsements due to “serious allegations of sexual harassment” at Activision Blizzard. The documents obtained by Vice also say that the Army’s continued sponsorship of Activision events could result in a “brand reputation issue.”
It’s worth saying here that this doesn’t appear to have stopped the Army from going ahead with subsequent sponsorships and partnerships of the Activision Blizzard event. The US Army Esports team is still transmission surveillance 2 Y attractive with Obligations eventseven reaching offer content a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II players who are serving or have served in the military.
Other spending for gaming and esports by the US Army includes $150,000 for streamer Stonemountain64, which broadcasts war zoneand an indefinite amount for streamers Swagg and Alex Zedra, both Obligations players (and, in the latter case, provided a likeness for a Obligations game too). An additional $300,000 was allocated for esports team OpTic Chicago, described by the military as a Gen Z “audience lineup” and as a good tool to familiarize Gen Z fans with “military values and opportunities.”
When Vice asked about these documents, the Army responded by giving the following statement.
Army Marketing’s goal for sponsorship is similar to all of our advertising buys, which is to reach a specific market in support of Army recruiting. Ad recall and favorability are important, as both are industry-accepted measures of the effectiveness of advertising and the sponsorships we buy. In Army marketing, we need to meet young people where they are, and that’s online.
It’s fair to say that many people, including politicians and other public figures, use streaming to reach younger and more diverse audiences. However, there are still ethical questions about whether it is acceptable for the Army to do so. Additionally, past Army broadcast behavior, including misleading contestants during a competition and forbidding commentators from asking certain questions, has made some people less than optimistic about the Army’s future on broadcast.