Apr 18, 2012 at 04:19 PM
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Marketers Use Mobile Games As Sponsorship Activation

Not content with simply advertising in existing games, some marketers are taking game-making into their own hands as a means of activating existing sponsorships. With the decreasing cost of production, more ad agencies delving into gaming and wider consumer awareness of the app store, it seems marketers can now produce and distribute their own game experiences that engage audiences around a sponsorship. While these games may not necessarily be on par in production value with paid games, a more efficient distribution channel now means that marketers can put money into actually producing higher quality game experiences that attract and engage bigger audiences and for marketers, that's really the point.

The obvious advantage in going this route is marketers have almost complete editorial control while still being able to use the marks and content acquired through sponsorship.

One such example comes from an unlikely brand, Mutual of Omaha, which recently launched Swim Star 2012, a free swimming game app, to support its official sponsorship of USA Swimming.

Swim Star 2012 allows players to select an avatar and their preferred swim stroke to compete for a place on the podium at every event. Players can progress from beginner level to qualifying, regional, nationals and world levels. Swim Star 2012 has GameCenter integration that allows players to post times to a leaderboard for each stroke. It also offers Facebook and Twitter integration to share accomplishments with friends.

The game is available for download for iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch on Appleā€™s App Store. While some major properties are starting to integrate mobile gaming elements into their sponsorship packages, it will be interesting to see if other marketers take the initiative to create their own games as activation of existing sponsorship deals.