Popular clothing brand Hollister signed earlier Fourteen days World champion Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf as “Chief Gaming Scout”, who selects several aspiring streamers to accompany them through their young careers.
As part of the partnership, Hollister is launching a hoodie and sweatpants set developed in collaboration with Bugha, according to a press release from the company. Bugha believes his own “Overnight Celebrity” status and streaming experience will be a valuable asset to the selected streamers.
“Ever since I won the World Cup, I knew immediately that things would be different for me, that my life would probably change a little,” Bugha told Dot Esports. “I didn’t know how quickly that would happen … I realized that I matured quickly.”
It’s one thing to be a 16 year old and have some level of online fame known for something within a niche internet community. It’s a different matter to go on Jimmy Fallons The Tonight Showthat take away the world’s banter about the “typical gamer” lifestyle.
The combination of Fortnites Rise as a cultural phenomenon that transcended esports and gaming, Bugha’s age, and the massive $ 3 million prize pool he won into the mainstream zeitgeist within minutes. Needless to say, he had to weather all of his criticism, giving up a good chunk of his childhood and maturing quickly.
This also marks a change in the relationship between Bugha and Hollister. They have brought out clothing together before, but this partnership is the first of its kind. It came about through a series of conversations and communications with Bugha, said Jacee Scoular, Hollister’s senior director of brand marketing.
“Hollister has always, and for the last several years, been really focused on putting our consumers at the center of everything we do,” said Scoular.
Hollister’s focus as a company is on the global high school age teenagers, Generation Z, and their peers. This partnership marks a huge leap into gaming by Hollister that has been in the works for some time. The company partnered with Xbox on multiple titles in 2018, and that involvement led it to keep investing. Scoular describes deepening this partnership as a step that is “authentic, meaningful and mutually beneficial”.
The program itself will include multiple live streaming practices, a charity live stream on November 30th (the day colloquially known as Giving Tuesday), and $ 10,000 sponsorship. Bugha will offer monthly mentoring.
“[How we navigate] Gaming is no different from the way we make a lot of decisions about where we want to show up, ”said Scoular.
Hollister is uniquely prepared to dive into the changing world of gaming – part of its role is to follow young people’s trends, which are constantly changing. Scoular emphasized that Hollister is not saying no to expanding its program or possibly a foray into esports as opposed to general gaming. The brand is “nimble”, but it has to be made with meaning and “authenticity”.
The training program led by Bugha starts in November. The merchandise will be available online and in select Hollister stores while stocks last.