Army recruiting campaign included plan to leverage Call of Duty streamers

| December 2, 2022

The US Army had a recruiting strategy to leverage the video game world to reach Generation Z prospects. Included in the plan was the sponsorship of esports tournaments, Call of Duty streamers, and Twitch events. They wanted to grow their audience among Generation Z, mainly among women, Black, and Hispanic individuals. Unfortunately, a wave of sexual harassment complaints against Call of Duty’s publisher put a stop to the Army’s using this plan.

From Vice:

The U.S. Army allocated millions of dollars to sponsor a wide range of esports tournaments, individual high profile Call of Duty streamers, and Twitch events in the last year to specifically grow its audience with Gen-Z viewers, and especially women and Black and Hispanic people, according to internal Army documents obtained by Motherboard.

In many cases the sponsorships ultimately did not happen—the Army ordered a stop of all spending with Call of Duty’s publisher Activision after the company faced a wave of sexual harrassment complaints. But the documents provide much greater insight into the Army’s goals and intentions behind its planned integrations with Call of Duty and other massive entertainment franchises.

“Audience: Gen-Z Prospects (A18-24),” one section of the documents read. “Focus on the growth of females, Black & Hispanics.” Motherboard obtained the documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

A table included in the documents lists the funds the Army planned to spend on various platforms, events, and streamers. At the top, is Twitch and its HBCU [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] Showdown. Previous seasons of this esports league had players compete in Madden and NBA games. The Army planned to spend $1 million on sponsoring the event.

The documents show that the U.S. military considered gaming and, in particular, Call of Duty, as a potentially useful branding and recruiting tool. For example, the Army proposed using Twitch influencers to “create original content videos showcasing the wide range of skillsets offered by the Army,” and to use influencers to “familiarize [their] fans on Army values and opportunities.” The Army also wanted to throw tournaments that featured “soldiers & top names in gaming.” Another goal of the campaigns was to increase the Army’s “favorability” in viewer surveys.

According to the table, the Army intended to spend $750,000 on a mix of the official Call of Duty League Esports tournament, streaming service Paramount+, and the HALO TV show, which aired on Paramount+. The Army also planned to spend $200,000 on sponsoring the mobile version of Call of Duty, including with “reward-based inventory.” The documents suggest the campaign would provide in-game currency to players who viewed Army video ads.

The Army allocated $150,000 to be spent on Stonemountain64, a popular streamer who often plays Call of Duty: Warzone to his audience of 2.32 million subscribers on YouTube. Stonemountain64 often uploads gameplay footage of himself roleplaying as a tongue-in-cheek commanding officer during matches of Warzone.

The documents also mention high profile streamers Swagg, who has 2.66 million subscribers on YouTube, and Alex Zedra. Zedra previously provided the likeness for the character Mara in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) and is a self-described “All American, 2A [second amendment] Gun Slinger.” Swagg and Zedra are listed next to an asterix under the table, which says the Army will reallocate funds based on conversations with the streamers. None of the streamers or their representatives responded to a request for comment.

Vice has additional information here and here.




Category: Army, Army News

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

‘Cause a first-person shooter is just like the real thing, bro! /sarc

Last edited 1 year ago by Anonymous

CoD is worthless for military. They are also expanding fat camp and brick school for those that can’t make it in to sign.


Battlefield 3 did have cool trailer featuring a “Where Evil Grows” cover by The Gore Gore Girls though…

Last edited 1 year ago by Anonymous

I thought that Psaul of Doody was already recruited by Phil Monkress? They certainly streamed out some sh^t.


They’d probably be better off going back to sponsoring NASCAR and rodeo.


So, antisocial obese basement dwellers aren’t Tier One operator candidates, despite COD high scores?

A lot of the popular good will enjoyed by our military has been squandered by the Clown Crew at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Stand by.


Aww, but who will Bagram Batman tell to get more sleep?

Hack Stone

Maybe Hack Stone can get them to sponsor him for beer and pinball tournaments. Hack crushed the Terminator 2 Pinball Machine at the Camp Wilson Beer Hall back in the mid 1990’s.


You know what would increase recruitment? Announce that the Army will only take the most bad ass mutherfuggers, for the privilege of protecting America. Sign here, pussy.


At least, bring back…
comment image

Last edited 1 year ago by Anonymous
A Proud Infidel®™

EEEeeeyeah, how quickly will the gamers last in Basic & AIT as soon as they realize that going to war in the real world will NOT be done sitting on a couch in their parents’ basement with a 3-liter bottle of Mountain Dew, a 2-pound bag of Skittles, Doritos and Monster Energy Drink nearby?