Game On! BONFIRE Teams with INSTIGATOR to Secure Gen Con Brand Sponsorships

Independent experiential marketing firm INSTIGATOR announced that it has been selected as the marketing and sales agent charged with securing non-endemic sponsorships for Gen Con 2018, the largest and longest running tabletop gaming convention in North America. In pursuit of this effort, the Minneapolis based agency will work in tandem with BONFIRE AGENCY, a pop culture focused advertising and marketing consultancy based in New York.

“While no one should underestimate the fervor for gaming exhibited by the more than 200,000 people who’ll be in attendance in Indianapolis from August 2-5, this is an audience of intelligent, successful, passionate consumers,” said Brad Pappas, President of INSTIGATOR. “They travel, socialize and, oh yeah, they really do care about the snacks and other goodies they have on hand for those midnight rounds of their favorite card or board game.”

“What we’ve been preaching to brands looking to establish or deepen engagements with comic and pop culture superfans holds just as true when attempting to connect with dedicated, highly influential players and collectors of everything from adventure games to dice games to RPGs,” said Steve Rotterdam, Founder and Chief Executive of BONFIRE AGENCY. “It’s not about your brand or property; it’s about what your brand or property is doing to make the fan’s experience at Gen Con more meaningful, more rewarding and more fun.”

A Top 10 trend on Facebook and Twitter, last year’s Gen Con saw the debut of 500 new games with more than 600 members of the press in attendance.

“Gen Con creates a tremendous, unique environment for attendees and brands to reach a passionate, sophisticated audience with strong brand loyalties and affinity,” said Megan Culver, Senior Director, Sponsorship & Sales for Gen Con.

“This is when gaming culture takes over the town and, by virtue of social media, the world,” added Pappas. “There are few events like it where a brand can literally have a seat at the table among hundreds of thousands of influencers.”

INSTIGATOR will concentrate its efforts on bringing relevant consumer package goods and services companies into play. They may be reached at  BONFIRE will focus its efforts more on activations from the entertainment and media universes and may be reached at . Sponsorship and activation opportunities will be made available throughout the exhibit halls of the Indiana Convention Center, as well as on the field level of Lucas Oil Stadium and at an outdoor presence on Georgia and South Streets.

The Indiana Convention Center’s exhibit hall will feature more than 500 exhibiting companies and Gen Con expects to host more than 15,000 ticketed events in 2018. According to last year’s estimates by Visit Indy, Gen Con has an annual economic impact in excess of $70 million to the local Indianapolis economy.


Founded in 1989, INSTIGATOR is an experiential marketing agency that identifies strategic touchpoints and utilizes existing events and venues to reach specific consumers for consumer package goods and services companies.  With over 30 years of experience in designing and implementing national mobile tours and awareness campaigns, INSTIGATOR has worked with the largest events in the country including the Super Bowl, NCAA Basketball Final Four and State Fairs.


Founded in 2011, BONFIRE is a strategic marketing consultancy targeting the pop culture superfan community. An “ethnic agency for nerds,” BONFIRE specializes in helping brands create and deepen meaningful engagements with incredibly passionate, highly influential, yet challenging to connect with consumers of everything from comic books, tabletop games and action films to underground music, sci-fi inspired television and cutting edge adult comedy.

About Gen Con LLC

Gen Con LLC produces the largest consumer hobby, fantasy, science fiction, and adventure game convention in North America – Gen Con, The Best Four Days in Gaming!™.  Acquired in 2002 by founder and former CEO of Wizards of the Coast, Peter Adkison, the company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.