Astralis and Audi in talks to continue partnership

The mutual ad campaign reached millions on social media and broadcast.

Astralis’ Audi ride is over—at least for now.

After a good two months, the reigning Counter-Strike: Global Offensive champions had to return the keys for their pint-sized, Astralis-branded SUVs last weekend. It might not be long before they sit on the driver seat again, though.

“The results demonstrates RFRSH’s way to create content and activate the target audience,” said Jordi Roig, CCO at RFRSH, Astralis’ media agency and shareholder. “There is no doubt that new, large-scale partnerships are in the pipeline, and for us, it would be logical to continue the very positive cooperation between Audi and Astralis.”

The campaign’s end doesn’t come at a surprise. Audi Denmark’s marketing manager called it a short-term pilot case early on, meant to last only through the ELEAGUE major and DreamHack Masters Las Vegas.

Astralis won the Major and placed third at DreamHack Masters, securing a lot of air time and positive numbers for the campaign. Thus, both partners agreed to extend it into March and Astralis displayed the Audi logo on their jerseys at IEM Katowice as well, where the team won again.

While RFRSH’s own assessment of the campaign is, unsurprisingly, positive, the partners assigned data analyst firm Nielsen Sports with evaluating the numbers. The report isn’t finished, yet, but some numbers were revealed in advance.

The #untaggable campaign reached more than 25 million impressions on Astralis social media channels and more than 12 million broadcast viewers. The advertizement was played more than 160,000 times and 163 online articles in 27 countries mentioned the cooperation, according to RFRSH’s press release.

Will Audi buy in once again, though? The initial deal was reportedly worth about $750,000, likely more including the March extension. It’s not going to get any cheaper from here. If RFRSH is able to secure Audi for a longer lasting partnership, it might very well be upwards of $1 million.

That’s a lot of money. On the other hand, Audi makes about $60 billion in revenues per year. For them, the question is not if they can afford it, but rather if they want to afford it. One way or another, Astralis’ ride with Audi was wild and entertaining. Hopefully, it sets an example for more non-endemic companies to dive into the esports industry.