Instead of treating fans to his play on the gridiron, pro football star Deshaun Watson will be quarterbacking an evening of streamed gaming tonight on Miller Lite’s Twitch channel.
Watson, who led his college team to a national championship and has been named to the two most-recent pro all-star teams, will be joined by Twitch streamers Scott Cole (aka Coltrane) and Vern, as well as his longtime friend Quincy Avery. They’ll play Jackbox games on Miller Lite’s Twitch channel from 7-9 p.m. Central time, hosting a virtual Miller Time for fans while drumming up support for the United States Bartenders Guild’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program.
"It feels great to partner with Miller Lite to be able to help out people in the hospitality industry during these challenging times. They are the people that make cities like Houston what they are. The culture and the vibe of the city is built by these people,” Watson says.
Legal drinking-age viewers will have a chance to interact with Watson and the other players by voting for the funniest answers, best drawings, and most believable fibs. They’ll also be able to ask questions in the chat and donate to the USBG fund, which is assisting service-industry workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Molson Coors Beverage Co. in March announced a $1 million donation to the fund.
“Right now, we’re all looking for ways to have fun and bring people together, and with live sports on hiatus, this is a great opportunity to bring two worlds together: athletes and gamers,” says Justine Stauffer, senior marketing manager of North American activation on Miller Lite.
It’s also, of course, an opportunity to support a group of workers suffering an outsized hit from the pandemic — bartenders and servers, says Stauffer. “When we launched the Miller Lite Virtual Tip Jar, it was to help support those who make Miller Time special, and in an environment like this, we want to remind people there’s an opportunity to give back.”
The gaming platform’s popularity has grown substantially over the last several years, with broadcasts of games reaching an average of 1.7 million concurrent viewers in 2020, according to TwitchTracker. Twitch viewership skyrocketed this month, with more than 2.4 million people tuning in concurrently, accounting for nearly three-quarters of total livestream hours watched.
That makes Twitch an undeniable source of entertainment, and a fertile place for brands like Miller Lite to reach their target audiences.
“It’s clear gaming is now a cultural driver, with millions of people tuning into Twitch every day. With media fragmentation and cord-cutting at an all-time high, Miller Lite is resonating with hard-to-reach audiences by celebrating the Twitch community,” Stauffer says. “The community engagement and real-time chat, even on a virtual platform, adds to the sociability of Miller Time.”