- Popular match-three mobile game Candy Crush Soda Saga has teamed with the World Surf League (WSL) for a limited-time in-game tournament, the “Soda Surf Cup,” per a press release. The effort is timed around the Rip Curl WSL Finals competitive surfing event.
- The Soda Surf Cup is playable now until Oct. 2 with on-theme gaming features like surfboard candies and the chance to win prizes. To promote the effort, creator Kyle Gordon will adopt a new persona as “Crush Sodason” and share content on Instagram and TikTok.
- The tie-up will also include additional experiences slated for Sept. 8-16 inclusive of giveaways, a meet-and-greet opportunity with the game’s Soda Gummy Bear mascot and more. The effort makes the WSL the latest to use the Candy Crush franchise to tap into popular culture.
Mobile gaming, the most popular format for gameplay, continues to be a widely utilized resource for marketers looking to tap into a larger audience, and within the category, the Candy Crush umbrella has continued to hold its own. Candy Crush for the past five years has remained the top-grossing franchise in the U.S. app stores, per release details. Accordingly, others have plugged into the popular titles, including the Jonas Brothers, which partnered with Candy Crush Saga in May to promote the band’s upcoming tour and latest album.
Beginning today (Sept. 7) Candy Crush Soda Saga is attempting to grow hype around the WSL’s upcoming competition with the limited-run launch of its new event, Soda Surf Cup. Billed as an in-game tournament, on-theme details within the matching game include surfboard candies along with a diorama of brand characters the Soda Gummy Bears and Yeti taking on the waves. The effort is inspired by the Rip Curl WSL Finals, a one-day event that decides this year’s surfing World Champions. The finals tournament, which is the WSL’s most-watched event, per the release, has a competition window spanning Sept. 8-16, with the competition held on the best day for waves.
Included in the Soda Surf Cup is also the potential to win a grand prize, which is a custom surfboard made by Matt Biolos, one of the world’s top surfboard shapers, and signed by the WSL Final 5 at the tournament event. Players can also win a one-year supply of gold bars, which is the currency used in Candy Crush Soda Saga. The Candy Crush franchise is owned by entertainment company King, which is part of Activision Blizzard.
Promoting the tie-up, Candy Crush Soda Saga teamed with popular TikTok creator Gordon, who is taking on an alternative persona — which is often the basis of his videos — to become a wannabe surfer, Crush Sodason. As part of the effort, Gordon will sport a purple wetsuit and surfboard for comedic posts and detail his ambitions to become WSL’s next surfing success. The creator will begin sharing content Sept. 11 on TikTok and Instagram, and additional exclusive content will be available on Candy Crush’s social media. Together, the mobile gaming experience and social media promotion could help the WSL tap into new audiences, including the next wave of athletes, with teens continuing to signal that TikTok is their most-favored social platform.
Candy Crush Soda Saga also teased in-person activations, including the potential to spot Gordon “training” on a beach in San Clemente, California, which is where the Rip Curl WSL Finals are being held, on Sept. 7. Additionally, the marketer from Sept. 8-16 has other consumer experiences planned, including a “Sodalicious” prize van, a meet-and-greet opportunity, and giveaways of items like stickers and treats. In addition to helping the WSL gain momentum, a roster of in-person experiences could help Candy Crush, a digitally native offering, explore new ways of reaching its current customer base while also extending to new consumers.