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Meet Chris Erb of Tripleclix in Westlake Village

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Erb.

Chris, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The short answer is, Tripleclix was created to fill the lack of gaming support void in the marketing industry.

The long answer began nearly 20 years ago. Having spent two decades in the gaming industry managing iconic brands such as Dungeons & Dragons, Pokémon, Madden NFL, and EA SPORTS, I was always frustrated there were no gaming-focused agencies that I could hire to help me create and execute promotional programs. Most agencies ‘have a gaming guy’ or ‘love gaming’ but none of them had worked in the space or even really understood the industry which made it impossible to find an authentic voice to work with.

After spending almost 10 years at EA SPORTS, I left in 2013 for the chance to go into the movie industry as the EVP of Marketing at Legendary Pictures. I had an amazing experience there working for Thomas Tull on great films like Pacific Rim, Hangover 3, Man of Steel, and Godzilla but in the back of my mind, I kept thinking about the agencies I was working with and how different the experience was back then. I didn’t have this support at EA. There were tons of promotional agencies for the movie industry (which grossed $38B globally in 2015) and there were ZERO promotional or marketing agencies for the gaming industry (which grossed almost $100B globally in 2015).

The opportunity to fill that void in the marketing space was too big to ignore and I honestly was missing my friends in the gaming world…so I left Legendary and founded Tripleclix in 2014. I wanted to be the first consumer-focused, strategic marketing agency specializing in the gaming industry.

Our goal is to focus on building organic partnerships and lifestyle marketing opportunities by combining publisher-driven content with brand-funded marketing. The movie industry doesn’t build a direct relationship with consumers and focuses more on driving awareness and intent. It’s an easy space for consumer brands to navigate. Gaming on the other hand is an innately deeper level of engagement. Studios build long-lasting relationships directly with fans and isn’t as focused on awareness or intent. These direct relationships make it harder for consumer brands to authentically navigate the space. With our experience and studio relationships, Tripleclix is able to act as that connective tissue through which gaming studios and consumer brands collaborate for the betterment of gamers. We build authentic programs that reward gamers for their passion while at the same time delivering on marketing KPIs that work for both the studio and brands.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I gave up an executive role in the movie industry to start my own company and some people called me crazy at the time to make such a big leap. The first challenge was going from a known company to striking out on my own and using my spare bedroom as the agency while I juggled parenthood with 3- year-old twin boys. It took a very special wife to understand my passion and support the move. The real challenge was not having functional support teams (like Human Resources and Accounts Payable) surrounding me and I had to learn about everything from licenses to hiring and payroll. Figuring out how to onboard people and hiring my first person was challenging, but not as daunting as filing our first taxes. In the beginning, it was really learning what you don’t know. There is no system or rule book to tell you everything you need to know to start your own company when you have a history as an Executive at big companies.

Please tell us about Tripleclix.
Tripleclix is a consumer-facing promotional marketing agency focused on the video gaming business. Tripleclix oversees promotions and lifestyle programs with gaming clients such as Xbox, Warner Brothers, and Wizards of the Coast and brands like Kellogg’s, Mondelez, and Hollister.

We are proud of working with some incredible brands that allow us to navigate them through the complicated world of gaming. Helping them understand the difference between esports and gaming. Deciding whether you want to market to gamers or build a relationship with them. Nothing gets us more excited than those conversations and helping them decide which is best fit for their brand.

It’s hard to decide which one of our ‘children’ we are proudest of, but what jumps to mind quickly are programs like the deep partnership we have built between Taco Bell and Xbox, getting Run the Jewels to partner with us on the launch of RTJ3 with Gears of War 4, helping Kellogg’s build their gaming success on promotions with Overwatch and Gears 5, building the first-ever gaming promotion for Chips Ahoy with Sea of Thieves and launching Crash Team Racing with Hollister.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love what we’re building with Tripleclix. From time to time, I do wish I had started the agency earlier but if we started years ago, it may have been too early as brands weren’t ready for gaming partnerships five years ago. Tripleclix came into the space at the perfect time.

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