eGen Esports’ Brad Timmins on e.l.f Comsetic’s Journey into Gaming – The Esports Observer

In November of 2020 Oakland, California-based cosmetics and skincare company e.l.f. Cosmetics decided to take a committed step into the world of competitive gaming by signing a sponsorship deal with Australian Fortnite player and variety streamer Kathleen “Loserfruit” Belsten.

Fast-forward to May 9, and the cosmetics company is going all-in on a Twitch channel and a new initiative called e.l.f You, a program to promote young up-and-coming female gamers by giving them a platform to shine. But to understand how e.l.f. got to this point, we have to rewind a little. To do that The Esports Observer spoke to Brad Timmins, founder and managing director of Sydney, Australia-based esports consultancy group eGen eSports.

The Spark

e.l.f. Cosmetics wasn’t led by the nose to gaming, but if anyone could be credited with elevating the conversation within the company it would have to be Anna Bynum, the global makeup artist at e.l.f., according to Timmins.

“She convinced the e.l.f. executive team to start exploring gaming and esports as a priority industry,” hw said.

With e.l.f. considering getting into gaming and streaming thanks to Bynum’s influence, the company looked to one of its existing partners to help put some sort of plan together: U.S.-based marketplace marketing consultancy Podean. Podean, who was already a partner with e.l.f., was approached with the idea of getting into gaming and promoting its brands to a younger audience. This ultimately led to eGen.  

“We were already a partner agency with Podean, who also works with e.l.f. on many other projects,” Timmins said, adding that he “worked with their CEO Travis Johnson years ago.” 

Timmins didn’t know at the time that the company wanted to evolve its offering to include “all forms of live-streaming and gaming as a key pillar.” After some planning, it’s been e.l.f., Podean, and eGen driving the agenda.

This ultimately led to e.l.f signing Fortnite player and variety streamer Kathleen “Loserfruit” Belsten to a sponsorship deal. eGen was an important part of making that and deals with other streamers happen.

“We’ve worked with Loserfruit on a multitude of programs, and once understanding e.l.f.’s brand values (animal and cruelty-free), their support of women globally, and their progressive use of new platforms, this deal just felt like a perfect fit for Lufu.”

Since that deal, e.l.f has done a few things related to gaming, including a collaboration with Chipotle to create and market a cross-promotional make-up line using popular YouTubers and gaming content creators. Now e.l.f. is accelerating its efforts with its new e.l.f You initiative and the launch of a Twitch channel.

The focus of the launch event Sunday is to promote the new initiative. As part of e.l.f. You, it will host a “Game Up” contest on TikTok May 9 – June 6 that will challenge participants to show “how they become stream-ready with their unique makeup looks.”

Seven winners will be selected, with each receiving equipment and support including a 4K pro webcam, a broadcasting microphone, e.l.f. products, a stream with Loserfruit on e.l.f.’s Twitch channel, and the opportunity to host a stream.  

“We are excited about e.l.f. You, as our inaugural seven winners not only win some really cool prizes, they actually get to have paid streams on the e.l.f. You Twitch channel, they get to play with Loserfruit in a major launch stream with other winners, and ultimately the program hopes to highlight and promote more female content creators and start a movement that revolves around the female gaming space.”

Finally, Timmins said that E.l.f plans to expand beyond just sponsoring female content creators. He sees a future where e.l.f. could potentially sponsor an esports organization or events if they line up with the company’s core values.

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