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LEVEL UP: Chipotle’s Gaming Revolution

Heading into 2023, Chipotle had already established itself as a top nonendemic brand in gaming. With years partnering with top creators and orgs along with many first of their kind activations, Chipotle sought to find white space within the gaming ecosystem. Armed with rEvolution’s industry expertise along with supporting insights from market research partner YouGov, Chipotle recognized the growing influence of the fighting game community (FGC), particularly among the 18-34 demographic, presenting a significant opportunity for brand engagement.  

Chris Mann, SVP rEv/XP, highlighted the potential, saying, “The FGC is an incredibly passionate, engaged, and diverse community and it’s also a massive whitespace for brands. Chipotle is a brand that was already established in gaming, doing many first-of-its-kind activations and now we’ve been able to showcase how a major brand can activate in gaming with communities beyond the status quo and see great results that drive business objectives.” 

With rEvolutions leadership, Chipotle established a year-long integrated activation calendar, aligning with key FGC events like the launch of Street Fighter 6, a presenting partnership with EVO, the Chipotle Challenger Series (CCS) and COMBO BREAKER. Each activation was meticulously designed to elevate experiences that resonated with the FGC audience to deliver value for Chipotle both offline and digitally. 

“Is everybody running to do a fighting game? Not necessarily, but we view that as an opportunity for us. Everybody can play in ‘Fortnite,’[….]— but here, we can show up with a community that has a passion point, and there’s a lot of other brands that just aren’t there,” stated Chipotle CMO and Chief Brand Officer Chris Brandt from Digiday, “Why Chipotle is Investing in esports marketing through EVO and the Fighting Game Community, August 7, 2023.  

Street Fighter 6 

To capitalize on the hype surrounding the game’s 2023 release, Chipotle leveraged an exclusive North American partnership with Street Fighter 6 to connect the brand within the gaming community. With an integrated strategy, we delivered an extensive brand takeover, including offering Fighter Coins alongside digital orders, the 1st brand to unlock Twitch Drops at launch, and curated in-game events like the ‘Chipotle Daily Brackets.’ This strategic approach underscored Chipotle’s commitment to understanding the community’s passions, resulting in unprecedented levels of enthusiasm, engagement, and brand loyalty among players worldwide.

EVO Partnership 

In 2023, EVO was primed for unprecedented growth. With 20 years of history, the event was recently acquired by RTS, a group comprised of game industry veterans and Sony PlayStation. As the presenting partner of EVO 2023, Chipotle recognized the significance of EVO as a premier event within the gaming community and was committed to making a memorable impact. Through a dedicated lounge, engaging giveaways, and immersive activations, Chipotle aimed to enhance the overall experience and foster meaningful connections with both attendees and online viewers. This commitment not only showcased Chipotle’s dedication to supporting the gaming community but also solidified its position as a key player, and partner, to the esports community. 

Chipotle Challenger Series 

The Chipotle Challenger Series (CCS) became a significant event within the FGC, offering one of the largest team-based competitions in Street Fighter franchise history. With a focus on community engagement and inclusivity, Chipotle curated a tournament experience that captivated audiences and participants alike. By providing incentives such as cash prizes, complimentary Chipotle entrees, exclusive trips to EVO 2023, and customized fight sticks, Chipotle elevated the competitive landscape and solidified its reputation as a brand that champions the passions and aspirations of the gaming community. 


Chipotle’s first touch point with the FGC started at Combo Breaker 2023. As the 2nd largest FGC event in North America, Chipotle rewarded competitive play by awarding free entrée cards to early-stage pool wines. With a community built on competition, this approach generated significant social buzz and positive sentiment.  

Chipotle Scores Big with Gamers

Led by rEvolution’s gaming experts at rEv/XP, Chipotle entered the FGC arena with a mission to foster brand love by elevating gaming experiences for a dynamic and influential gaming community. Through activations carefully crafted to connect with the community’s passions, the journey was marked by milestones of heightened brand visibility and impact. 

In terms of driving brand metrics, rEvolution worked with YouGov to showcase a significant uptick in key categories such as positive impression, consideration, and purchase consideration as a result of the campaign. 

  • Chipotle Purchase Intent doubled among US Esports Fans, Age18-44. After the campaign, 1-in-5 (20%) reported they intended to eat at Chipotle within the next month (1.3x higher than Nat Rep 18-44;  1.8x higher than All US 18+)  
  • Consideration of Chipotle among US Esports Fans, age18-44, rose from 28% to 38% (1.2x higher than national average among US 18-44-year-olds;1.6x higher than All US 18+) 
  • Chipotle’s Overall Brand Impression (sentiment) score among US Esports Fans, age 18-44, rose from 29% to 41% (1.5x higher than national average among US 18-44-year-olds) 

Source: YouGov BrandIndex, USA 

“The fighting game player community is not only expanding but also represents a highly engaged and diverse segment of the gaming audience,” said Nicole Pike, YouGov’s Global Head of Sports and Gaming. “Our data shows that Chipotle’s multifaceted and pioneering activations targeting this gaming segment have significantly elevated the brand at all stages of the funnel.”  

These results highlight the success of Chipotle’s approach to gaming, showcasing the brand’s commitment to enhancing experiences that captivate the gaming community and deepen the brand’s connection to fans.  

“We know not everyone watches traditional sports. Our gaming strategy is to uplift the gaming community and show up where they are in a non-intrusive, value-added way. EVO is the FGC event — so it made sense as part of a larger integrated partnership with CAPCOM and SF6 to be a big part of this event to connect with fans both digitally and in real life during Evo. As the presenting partner we have significant brand presence during one of the most watched esports events annually,” Scott Robinson, Director of Brand Marketing at Chipotle from “Chipotle Still views esports as a viable Marketing Vehicle from Sports Business Journal 8/10/2023.   

In 2024, Chipotle is once again engaging with the FGC. The brand is returning to EVO, with the event’s 2024 announcement show being filmed at Chipotle store. Additionally, Chipotle has partnered with one of 2024’s biggest titles, TEKKEN 8 [LINK], offering in-game TEKKEN COINS and planning future in-game collaborations. Chipotle has also elevated the Challenger Series by becoming the first brand to partner with PlayStation tournaments for an exclusive TEKKEN 8 tournament on the platform. Stay tuned for more exciting developments in 2024.