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Checkoff continues to see the benefits of supporting gamers with dairy content

April 1, 2024


5 minute read

Research shows that 96 percent of Generation Z (Gen Z) enjoy video games and identify as gamers, motivating Midwest Dairy to continue finding ways to grow trust with gaming partners to reach these Gen Z consumers. Gamers average around 11 hours a week playing and interacting with online games, and 44 percent say they have made a purchase decision based on a recommendation from a social influencer, like a gamer. In 2023, Midwest Dairy continued to prioritize bringing dairy to unexpected places by capitalizing on gaming opportunities across the 10-state region.


Checkoff partnered with Version1 again this year. Last year, the “Cooking with Comm” content series was launched and continued with two new episodes around the holidays (eggnog and charcuterie). In the summer of 2023, a new series called “V1DA with KRISSY” was created, where viewers get to know gamers inside and outside the game in a casual conversation setting. The first episode features ATTACH, a Version 1 Call of Duty player, while another episode introduces NOIA, a highly successful Valorant player. Undeniably Dairy was the featured sponsor, selecting topics about mental and physical wellness during the episodes. The episodes feature ads connecting Gen Z to dairy. The new series has reached over 318,046 consumers through Version1’s YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, X, and Facebook channels.

Iowa High School Esports Association

The Iowa High School Esports Association (IAHSEA) was another key partner during their 2023 Fall State Showdown. Over 800 gamers gathered to compete during the three-day tournament, and over 12,000 viewers tuned in to watch via livestreams. Through this partnership, Midwest Dairy elevated players’ experience with dairy-focused messaging. “Reset Yourself with Dairy” commercials played during live streams alongside a video to promote Zany Ziplines, a new Fortnite game concept supported by MilkPEP. 

IAHSEA also had a goal to bring more health initiatives and messaging to players. During the tournament, they provided a healthy snack station, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and various fruits. Players and coaches enjoyed having healthy snack options available to grab between games. After a win, all champion teams were photographed doing a milk cheers. In three short years, they have grown from five to over 90 schools participating in state competitions. For many players, this is their first time participating in extracurricular activities, and they enjoyed the engagement and experience. 

Nebraska School eSports Association

Nebraska esports team

Nebraska School eSports Association (NSeSA) was another successful partner with checkoff, working with them to bring dairy to life at their Spring State Tournament. Chocolate milk, cheese sticks, and Undeniably Dairy swag were given to the 350 players, coaches, and audience in attendance. Additionally, over 1,250 high school students from across the state streamed the two-day championship online. Reset Yourself with Dairy commercials were played, and Fuel Your Fun dairy messaging was woven into daily announcements to keep dairy in mind. Champions were interviewed at the Undeniably Dairy desk, which concluded with a chocolate milk chug and cheers. The NSeSA staff appreciated Midwest Dairy for “pushing the boundaries of their normal sponsorships” to help bring these athletes a more engaging, interactive, and healthy experience. 

YMCA Esports

Throughout 2023, Midwest Dairy also partnered with the YMCA esports program as it got off the ground and expanded in Omaha, Nebraska. During this six weeks program, the YMCA added important health and nutrition curriculum from the Fuel Up program, including the following themes: Connecting the Mind & Body, Relaxation Plan, Nourishing the Mind, Wellness Facts, Create Your Own Plate, and Design Your Own Game Plan. Esports instructors focused on teaching kids the importance of a healthy mind, body, and spirit, focusing on hydration and a well-balanced diet to optimize their ability to play and live well. The YMCA engaged 108 kids in esports and held three youth sports tournaments. In addition, 17,620 tournament emails were opened promoting the tournaments. The YMCA received feedback about how students benefited from and enjoyed the healthy recipe inclusion and/or dairy products.   

YMCA esports kids

The collaborations continued as checkoff also brought different partners together to drive dairy demand by working with two professional iRacing drivers who went head-to-head to see who could create the best-tasting smoothie. Midwest Dairy collaborated with the Kansas City Pioneersand Price Chopper Enterprises to share with Gen Z gamers the benefits of fueling their fun with dairy. The Pioneers’ smoothy competition reached Gen Z via X and Instagram, generating over 15,903 impressions and 2,514 video views. Recognizing smoothies as a popular healthy go-to item, Price Chopper Enterprises also shared the video and the winning smoothie recipe on their social channels. The recipe will be housed with other Undeniably Dairy delicious recipes on the Price Chopper website

Midwest Dairy is committed to engaging with Gen Z youth through diverse experiences and partnerships to share the sustainable nutrition story of dairy. Dairy products can provide huge nutritional value in these gamers’ lifestyles, and checkoff is dedicated to sharing those benefits.