|San Francisco (31 May, 2007) – One of Canada’s top sports networks, TheScore, has unveiled its new advertising-supported poker site, with technical know-how provided by California-based developers CyberArts and the online ad serving specialists the Advertising Gaming Network (AGN).|
The Toronto-based channel, which is known for its audience of hard-core sports fans, will stream 15-second interstitial video ads to players during poker game and tournament play, along with real-time sports news and information via a trademark on-screen news ticker feature.
The new advergaming site, www.ScorePoker.com, was developed in conjunction with ad-serving technology provider AGN, founded by former Tribeca tables managing director Todd Walderman (also former CTO of Advertising.com), and Bob Williams, who was the brand manager for the Tribeca Tables Skins Network.
Said Walderman, 'The CyberArts technology is a perfect fit because of the way that the client user interface is rendered on the screen. It’s extremely dynamic. In the CyberArts technology model, the screen is rendered onto the player’s computer at the time of delivery, and any other advertising messages or media content or game types are delivered as individual components visible to the players. It's unique and perfect for the delivery of marketing messages, whether they be banners, contextual advertising or even video or audio content.'
TheScore’s previous poker room enjoyed more than 60,000 registered players, with 7,500 to 10,000 new players signing up for every major tournament, so TheScore’s Director of Product Development Brendan Fyfe expects even bigger numbers from the new site.
Fyfe is also confident that TheScore’s mostly 18-34-year-old male viewers will accept and enjoy the necessity of advertising around their games, “People who go to NASCAR races understand that their race series would not be possible without those sponsors,” says Fyfe, “and, in the same fashion, our players understand that our free poker model would not move forward without the support and participation of the advertisers. We have had nothing but really positive feedback so far.”
TheScore also starts with the immeasurable advantage owning terabytes of hockey, football and basketball video footage. As TheScore's Fyfe notes, “there is a lot of good content out there that can be shaped and formed for the packages that we are able to deliver, so once we get into the Fall and Winter months that’s really when the rubber is going to hit the road.”
The San Francisco-based CyberArts has a history of innovation, being the first to offer a truly global, truly customizable and 100% licensable online gaming software platform, called CyberArts Foundation. Recent enhancements now put the company at the lead of the ad-delivery gaming platforms. CyberArts' technology includes a bi-directional API that allows ad requests to contain contextual information about users—such as where they are in the gaming system or what game they are playing. Additionally, the gaming system can store player history -- favorite games, times of play, favorite promotions – so that, in combination with AGN's ad-serving technology, the system can serve the most relevant ads—improving player engagement—and creating the most revenue for operators.
The trend towards ad-supported gaming has huge market potential. Product marketers are always seeking new ways of reaching the coveted male 18-35 market--and Poker is popular in this demographic. “We’re also talking to companies who intend to use online to both promote customer loyalty and acquire new customers to their land-based casinos,” said CyberArts CEO Chris Derossi. “To this end, our support for loyalty programs and awards, flexible messaging and delivery of TV-quality advertisements is of great relevance.”
CyberArts will be exhibiting at booth #405 at the Global Interactive Gaming Summit & Expo (http://www.gigse.com), June 5-7, in Montreal.
About Score Media Inc.
Score Media Inc. (TSX: SCR) is a media company committed to creating consumer value through creative solutions, technology, and innovation in response to sports fans’ growing desire for increased participation in their consumption of sports content. Score Media’s main asset is The Score Television Network, a national specialty television service providing sports, news, information, highlights and live event programming, available across Canada in more than 6.2 million homes. Score Media also operates Hardcore Sports Radio, a satellite radio network available across North America on SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and other interactive assets including TheScore.ca, Score Mobile, and Score Poker.
About CyberArts Licensing
Privately-held CyberArts is the developer of Foundation™, the most technically advanced software platform for online gaming operators. It is the only fully licensable platform available -- operators can create their own branded, customized gaming service quickly and easily -- using any languages and any currencies. The platform supports poker, backgammon, casino, and other games, can be used by operators running cash games or advertising-supported free play, and includes sophisticated back-end configuration, design and reporting tools.