If you’re enjoying any of the esports leagues currently going on right now, you might start seeing some targeted ads and engagements from your Uncle Sam. Earlier this week, Navy Recruiting Command launched an integrated esports campaign that includes partnerships with leading esports entities Twitch, the Evil Geniuses, ESL, and DBLTAP. The announcement states that the partnerships will provide “authentic opportunities to more deeply engage with the gaming community.” The Navy added, “The objectives are to showcase how Sailors rely on many of the same skills that gamers do, and to make Navy life more relatable to Gen Zers.”

It’s hard not to think of the “yvan eht nioj” song from “The Simpsons,” or cringe when we see tax-money spent on a press release with the words “Gen Zers” in it. The campaign kicked off this past weekend at DreamHack – Anaheim, where the Navy was the first-ever presenting sponsor of the popular BYOC activation space. At the event, the Navy’s esports team (yes that was an official thing at the event) challenged event attendees to a variety of games.

“Like the Navy, esports is a competitive environment that requires loyalty, teamwork, effective communication under pressure, and a strong commitment to continual improvement,” says Rear Admiral Brendan McLane. “By aligning with unique gamers, streamers, and leaders in the popular esports space, the Navy will improve relatability with prospective Sailors and be able to better share sea stories about Navy life.”

The Armed Services spends millions of dollars on pro sports each year. When you see the NFL “supporting the troops” on the sidelines in camouflage gear and stickers, that’s all paid for by the United States tax-payer. The military buys the clothes, ships them out, dresses up the teams, and gives the NFL millions of dollars to wear them. We don’t know how well of a recruitment tactic it is, but tax-payers are paying to dress up a league that itself doesn’t pay taxes. Do you like it when the jets fly over the stadium? Those quick flyovers can cost up to $450K a pop, according to a breakdown by CNBC. The Navy Recruiting Command didn’t announce how much money they were spending on esports, but it will be interesting to see if the recruitment tactic turns any Solider76s to actual soldiers.

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