UFC cage fighter Ronda Rousey playing for Facebook Gaming

"Offline" celebrities, including Drake, aligning with streaming platforms.

UFC star Ronda Rousey’s next title match, billed as "The Baddest Stream on the Planet," will put her up against Pokémon Sword and Shield on Facebook Gaming.

She is the latest celebrity to align herself with a streaming platform as rapper Drake joined forces with Caffeine, a newly launched streaming platform, earlier this month. 

Rousey’s debut game stream takes place Feb. 18th and she is using the occasion to support Australian bushfire recovery efforts. Plans call for her to continue with a weekly gaming stream.

Rousey has 11.2 million Facebook fans so joining forces with the Facebook Gaming likely will bring new traffic to the platform, which was launched in 2018 as a rival to Amazon’s Twitch.

"She’s super passionate about gaming, she’s obviously heavily interested in the space, so the synergy there is huge," noted Jamie Reardon, chief executive officer and co-founder of Find Your Influence, an influencer-marketing agency and talent exchange based in Scottsdale. "It is also a quick way for Facebook Gaming to continue to scale by partnering with her."

YouTube and Twitch have nurtured a host of stars known mostly to fellow gamers, such as Tim the Tat Man and Ali-A, with followers in the millions. 

Streaming platforms are a great place to find influencer talent emerging from the grassroots, but Reardon expects to see more off-line celebrities, like Rousey and Drake, enter the streaming space as more platforms launch. 

"We find that streaming platforms are a great way to connect with our fans and engage with them through our products," said Denny Chiu, director of communications and social media at Bandai Namco, the developer of Code Vein, Dragon Ball Z and the classic, Pac-Man franchises. "It also offers us a chance to give our fans an inside look at the many personalities who work on our games in a fun and interactive way."

For now, Reardon notes, brands that leverage platforms like Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Gaming are mostly tied closely to gaming, for the main reason that the talent is engaged in playing and can’t really tout much else. 

"You will find companies pushing something very synergistic with that audience, like a chair or headphones," said Reardon.  

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