The chair market has grown crowded with new arrivals, but two companies – RESPAWN and Mavix – are looking to have breakout years in 2021.
RESPAWN – Cult Twitter following leading to growth
One of the things that makes esports unique are the amount of sponsorship requests that hardware manufacturers receive. Creators of furniture, accessories, and modifications often have automated affiliate code programs for creators and small orgs to promote products for a small kickback.
RESPAWN bucked this trend and instead has used the power of social media and viral engagement to promote its chairs and desks. Sure, RESPAWN has partnerships with the like of the Atlanta FaZe, Houston Outlaws, and Triumph Gaming, but this year the company exploded in popularity on Twitter through several tweets that could be seen as “antics.”
One of their more popular viral campaigns was a “recruitment challenge” which saw the company follow a decade old practice of user generated content (ugc). Recruitment challenges started when FaZe was still a sniping clan on Call of Duty and they wanted to add skilled content creators to their lineup.
FaZe would make a hashtag like #FaZeRC and ask fans to post their best sniping montage and would choose anywhere from one to five to join the clan. RCs are great because ugc is free for the org and the hashtag means FaZe would go viral without FaZe needing to spend money.
It’s unique for RESPAWN to do this because normally esports orgs, small teams, and video designers do these, but RESPAWN’s ability to use authentic marketing tactics to engage and appeal to the esports community is admirable and shows they understand the market’s wants and desires.
RESPAWN’s rc was successful and the company has become known for giving away chairs or products to people who do crazy things to promote the brand which has led to a near cult like following on social media. RESPAWN will be a company to watch in 2021 as they will likely be expanding their outreach efforts to stay one step ahead of their competitors.
Mavix – Newcomer looking to impress
Mavix is a very new name, but is worth staying abreast of because of their recent splashy signgings. Unlike RESPAWN, Mavix is ver much a traditional gaming chair company (think Dxracer) that is looking to be more hypebeast than chair company.
A spin off brand of X-Chair, Mavix launched its ambitions with TV ad buys, product brand ambassadors, and a merch store. Their initial partnership with the OpTic Chicago Call of Duty League (CDL) team serves as an extension of their individual sponsorship of OpTic CEO Hector “H3cz” Rodriguez and star player Seth “Scump” Abner. 2020 serves to be the rebirth of the OpTic Gaming brand and X-Chair is betting big on the historic esports franchise.
So what really makes Mavix special? Mavix realizes that their products are premium purchases (starting at $555), but none of their products scream gamer like their competitors. Dxracers or Secretlab chairs can be found in a wide variety of loud color schemes, but the Mavix line look like standard, boring office chairs.
Mavix clearly believes investing in names to promote their products will payoff, but only time will tell if the gambit was worth it. While RESPAWN looked to break in via connecting directly with customers, Mavix is trying to leverage known names to sell chairs. Both strategies are fun to watch and 2021 will tell which company will have the better 2021.