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Campaign strategy | Influencer marketing | Talent management | Ambassador program

How Viral Nation grew Call of Duty League’s fanbase by 32% in a year

With millions of devoted fans, and legendary titles like Diablo, Guitar Hero, and Tony Hawk’s, Activision Blizzard is a gaming giant. In an extremely competitive industry, the company has always taken as innovative an approach to engaging fans and attracting players as it has for the games themselves.

Learn how a hyper-targeted influencer strategy turned 344K casual gamers into active fans for Activision Blizzard Esports—exceeding initial subscriber targets by 77% and winning top honors for Best Social Campaign at the AVA Digital Awards in the process.

Best Social Campaign

Activision-Blizzard Esports (ABE) Call of Duty League’s Ambassador Program received top honors at the 2022 AVA Digital Awards—an international competition that recognizes excellence by creative professionals in the field of digital communication.

AVA Awards Viral Nation Activision Blizzard
Activision Blizzard Esports Espresso

About Activision Blizzard

The Call of Duty League (CDL) is a professional esports league for the video game series, Call of Duty, produced by Activision Blizzard – a gaming giant boasting five divisions, 13 iconic AAA gaming titles, and annual revenue exceeding $8 billion.

Connecting millions of gamers around the world with an arsenal of epic entertainment, Activision Blizzard Esports (ABE) titles include major franchises like Overwatch League™, Call of Duty League™, Hearthstone® Grandmasters, and the World of Warcraft® Arena World Championship.

Answering the call

Activision Blizzard franchises command the attention – and devotion – of fans worldwide. But, like all gaming companies, there’s always a need for new players to extend the life and popularity of their offerings.

With a packed season schedule split into five stages – each ending with a major tournament – the team at ABE turned to Viral Nation to grow viewership and subscribers for Call of Duty League (CDL), one of the most prominent esports leagues in the world.

To convert casual gamers into active fans and drive subscribership and viewership for official CDL broadcasts, Viral Nation orchestrated a complex ambassador program, with always-on coverage throughout the entire seven-month season.

Partnering with a variety of creators established in the Call of Duty ecosystem, ambassadors were engaged to generate awareness, engagement, and viewership across multiple channels from launch day to Championship Weekend.

Advanced Gameplay

During the season-long campaign, eight top-tier creators celebrated the CDL fandom with social content across YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

Ambassadors coverage was continuous throughout the entire season — representing the CDL brand and league across video, social, interactive mobile games, and official broadcasts.

By bringing their audiences with them and cheering alongside fans, influencers created an immersive experience that kept engagement and excitement for old and new fans alike.

“Clutch” results

In gamer slang, “clutch” refers to winning a situation that requires exceptional performance.  And Viral Nation did just that – converting hundreds of thousands of casual gamers into active fans, increasing subscriptions by 32% in a single season, and surpassing ABE’s target by 77%.

With the award-winning campaign driving 429% more impressions than the previous year, the  Championship weekend was the most-viewed esports event since 2020 – and Call of Duty went on to become the best-selling video game of the year.


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