You’ve heard of athletes on cereal boxes, but what about gamers on soda bottles? Well, from 2008 to 2009, it happened! And no, it was not Mountain Dew, although that would’ve been very fitting.
Dr. Pepper featured renowned Halo legend Tom “TSquared” Taylor on over 175 million soda bottles during that time period. It was one of the first times in North America that a professional video game player was promoted on a product in this way, and helped further spread awareness of competitive gaming and esports as a whole.
Taylor was once of the most successful Halo players during the Major League Gaming days. He captained the team Str8 Rippin’ to several titles, and he was one of the first players to sign a six-figure contract with MLG, showing that competitive gaming could serve as a full-time job.
Dr. Pepper bottles weren’t the only claim to fame for Taylor! He appeared on MTV’s series True Life: I’m a Professional Gamer, as well as being featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Stuff.
Tsquared would go on to make a comeback in Halo when he revived the Str8 Rippin’ team for the first season of the Halo Championship Series. The team ended up placing 5th, and Taylor would then go on to announce his retirement from competitive play on his livestream.
Being a Halo pro in those days had some good benefits for sure; just ask Taylor’s rival team, Final Boss, about their sponsorship with NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas!