In a first for Honda and the automotive industry at large, the Japanese manufacturer has revealed its 2022 Honda Civic exclusively on Twitch with a livestream on Honda’s Head2Head channel, which is entering its third season. In addition to showcasing the new Civic, the November 17th stream featured competition between top Fortnite players, including world champion Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf, and top Twitch streamers.
Phil Hruska, Manager of Media Strategy at American Honda Motors, remarked at a press event that gamers are “critically important” to Honda, and that a digital-only reveal of the new model was the “perfect way to connect with gamers on their turf.”
The auto industry has been increasingly interested in gaming and esports during 2020. Not only have we seen more direct participation in esports – whether in virtual NASCAR, F1 or their own leagues – from the likes of Toyota, McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, BMW and others, but many auto brands see esports sponsorship as a direct way of getting in front of a young demographic that may be in the market for a new vehicle, some for the first time. Honda claims that Civic is “the number one most purchased vehicle with millennial and Gen Z buyers. And the number one sold vehicle to first-time new vehicle buyers.”
Honda has been leading the way among auto brands as the only company to have its own gaming-branded Twitch channel; it’s also the only car company in North America to sponsor an esports organization (Team Liquid) and the League of Legends esports league, LCS. The company’s emphasis on gaming and esports is smart, as Interpret’s New Media Measure® shows that 9% of Honda owners watch esports on Twitch.