• Andy Marston

Brand Partnerships - A Game of Strategy

Recently, my girlfriend and I, like many others, watched The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix – a coming-of-age period drama based on Walter Tevis' 1983 novel.

The story follows the life of an orphaned chess prodigy on her rise to the top of the chess world while struggling with emotional problems, drug problems, and alcohol dependency.

Whilst we didn’t develop any drug problems or an alcohol dependency, we were drawn to try and play chess – something neither of us had had any desire to do previously. And we weren’t alone.

Chess Boom

In mid-November, more than 100,000 new members registered for Chess.com each day. This is roughly five times higher than average.

Whilst some of the popularity can be attributed to the pandemic (as countries re-entered lockdown), the release of the Netflix series has had an “undeniable” effect on Chess.com’s growth, Barton continued.

The “Netflix Effect”

Similar can be said for Nike’s Jordan brand, which received a huge boost from ESPN/ Netflix documentary, The Last Dance.

As a result, there is huge commercial potential for Netflix (and other facilitators of consumer engagement) to create authentic brand partnerships.

This could even apply for brands – who could soon receive payment from rights holders to promote their assets, too. That is the belief of Ricardo Fort, Head of Global Sponsorships at The Coca-Cola Company, “The future of sponsorship will be very different from the 1970's old formula of only brands paying for rights.”

An example of this (sort of) is the recent strategic partnership between Borussia Dortmund and SpongeBob SquarePants.