E-Sports Come to Central Illinois Courtesy of State Farm

By Neil Doyle

A top esports athlete made a stop in the Twin-Cities Thursday.

Ben Lupo, 32, or better known as DrLupo to his millions of social media followers and online gamers, visited State Farm Headquarters in Bloomington. Lupo and the insurer have formed a partnership making him the first esports athlete sponsored by the company.

State Farm marketing spokesperson Ed Gold explained the partnerhsip.

“I think we have to look at how media and media consumption is changing amongst the mellinual audience. This audience, 18-34, is not consuming telvision or radio they way it used to be done. They are getting a lot of their entertainment from Youtube, Twitch, and all of these other media because they have so many choices,” said Gold.

State Farm has traditionally sponsored football, basketball and other sports. Gold said this new audience is consuming different areas.

“We wanted to get something younger and esports apealled to us,” Gold added.

Lupo has been playing video games for 26 years, but just two years ago decided to make esports a full-time job.

“I used to work in IT at an insurance agency in Omaha, Neb.,” Lupo explained. “When I found out State Farm wanted to sponsor me it blew my mind. It’s the weird coming together of two worlds that I never thought I would see collide like this in a great way,” said Lupo.

Lupo recently hosted a charity stream for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Thanks to a contibution from State Farm and many others, Lupo raised over $900,000 in 4.5 hours, according to Forbes.

Forbes said there’s a chance it could be the most money raised in the shortest period of time for a gaming charity stream.