Chipotle is focused on increasing its cultural relevance — and that means connecting with sports fans and gamers.
The restaurant chain is launching the free video game “Race to Rewards” on Wednesday, in which players can score rewards that they can redeem at a Chipotle by navigating an electric car, electric bike, or electric skateboard through a terrain filled with hazards (artificial flavors) and rewards (chips).
- The video game will be live for 48 hours and top point-getter wins a 2021 Tesla 3.
- The site hosting the game — racetorewards.com — works on mobile and desktop.
- Chipotle is also throwing in 1 million bags of chips for participants.
“With everything we do, we look for the intersection of culture and Chipotle,” Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s chief marketing officer, told FOS. “Eighties video games are a thing right now, so we built our own custom game.”
Gaming has become a key way for Chipotle to connect with customers, particularly through the Chipotle Challenger Series esports events. This month, the company also expanded its partnership with Twitch.
The restaurant chain is also teaming up with athletes through its custom bowl series. Consumers can order a dish designed by a particular athlete, such as Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic or the Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike.
“Sports has been a very good audience for us,” said Brandt. “It’s a way to generate a lot of broad reach.”
Chipotle’s digital sales grew from $1 billion in 2019 to $2.8 billion in 2020, and Brandt expects that trend to continue. Revenue increased 23.4% year-over-year in Q1 to $1.7 billion, half of it from digital sales.