Game on for Pizza Hut

Gaming has been a part of the culture for the longest time. With brands now tapping into the market, it has taken a new direction in the region. Pizza Hut is one such brand that has joined the conversation, taking advantage of the fact that fast food and gaming go hand-in-hand, with most players opting for finger food.

The brand set new standards in the industry as Pizza Hut Gaming ME. The gaming channel recently celebrated its first anniversary since its conception in 2022.

Proving how brands can be successful in the gaming sphere, it achieved over 41.5k followers within a few months with an engagement rate of 4.1 per cent and 16.2 million impressions.

It connected with the community through esports tournaments, streaming influencers and limited-edition collaborations. The brand also committed to building a community through initiatives that provided high-value experiences, prizes, and giveaways.

In 2022, the brand hosted a Valorant esports tournament, which garnered over 811k views on social media platforms and reached 3.4 million people. The tournament was the first esports tournament in the region and an official step into esports for Pizza Hut Gaming ME.


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It also partnered with HyperX to release a limited edition, custom-branded headsets, providing gamers with a chance to win Pizza Hut Gaming ME branded gear. The campaign received more than three million online impressions and garnered an engagement rate of 12.5 per cent on owned social channels.

Given the receptiveness of the gaming community and successful conversations, the brand also tapped into Ramadan with the Pizza Hut Ramadan Cup tournament, featuring the game OverWatch 2.

Other brands joining the gaming conversation

Pizza Hut is not the only brand who has joined the conversation. Its YumBrands sister company KFC also joined the conversation with its colonel shield, a controller skin that aimed to allow gamers to eat and game at the same time without ruining their consoles or losing their games. Skincare brand Nivea re-launched the Middle East’s largest community of female gamers, Girls Got Game (GGG) on social media channels

Nivea aimed to launch a dedicated platform for female gamers to not only share their talents and stories, but also empower them to overcome the societal challenges they face. The brand’s marketing director MENA of Nivea, Sagun Verman, explained how they entered the segment while aligning with the brand values, “Our brand values of care and trust are reflected in our products, our organisation, and also across the activations in our markets. Empowering women is one such key focus for the brand, specifically empowering female gamers in the region. They are a growing community and with our digital platform, Girls Got Game, we aim to support them when they face challenges such as cyberbullying. Nivea believes in creating awareness around these challenges, and in doing so we want to support female gamers to pursue their hobbies and careers without limitations.”

Regional e-sports and gaming agency Power League Gaming also recently launched a new service called Flux to help brands enter the gaming and esports space.

Saudi Arabia and gaming

The rising interest is not only limited to brands, but countries too are taking an active interest in the sector. Last year, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Public Investment Fund (PIF) launched the gaming and e-sports company Savvy Gaming Group (SGG). The initiative is also part of the Saudi Arabian government’s strategy to make the kingdom a global hub for the games and esports sector by 2030.

According to a report by Boston Consulting group, about 67 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s national population are gaming enthusiasts which accounts for about 23.5 million people.  21.1 million of the total figure already play esports titles on a semi-pro or amateur basis.

The overall consumption in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach $6.8bn by 2030.