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Subway sponsors mobile game to attract Super Bowl viewers

Subway is sponsoring the PrePlay football game application to engage sports fans during the Super Bowl XLVI.

The PrePlay app awards points to fans who predict the outcome of each play as they watch football games on television. The Subway brand is incorporated throughout the app.

?Subway is coming to us to get in front of our audience,? said Andrew Daines, founder and CEO of Pre Play Sports, New York.

?We have an avid sports following and Subway has gone to great lengths over the past 10 years to reach the sports audience,? he said.

?What players are seeing on TV connects to what is on the app, which increases the feel that Subway is underwriting sports.?

Subway sponsorship
By sponsoring the game, Subway is able to engage PrePlay's users and entice them with content. 

For example, Subway is highlighted by PrePlay?s announcer who provides tips in pre-game videos.

The Subway sponsorship is a pilot program designed to evaluate mobile app marketing and sponsorship for the company. It has been in place since the beginning of the National Football League playoffs.

In addition to the Subway sponsorship, PrePlay is working with Second Screen Networks to bring ads to its apps during the Super Bowl from Go Daddy and others. The in-game ads complement a brand?s TV commercial appearing during the Super Bowl.

The PrePlay game syncs users? mobile devices with a football game on TV.

The game asks users what will happen after the next play for every single play.

Players are also connected with friends and family to challenge and compete with them during the game.

Other game features include the ability to download mid-game, in-game statistics, a chat room, tip sheets and videos.

In the two years that PrePlay has been around, the average user session has grown from 14 minutes to 52 minutes, per Mr. Daines.

Mobile game
PrePlay is available for iOS devices and can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store.

In-game advertising is nothing new. However, as mobile penetration and use continues to grow, mobile games are becoming more popular and brands are increasingly looking to translate in-game advertising to the mobile space.

For example, Sears Auto Centers are featured throughout the mobile game Road Trippin? from EA Mobile to help the brand reach young, digital engaged consumers (see story).

?We?ve discovered that you can never ask the user enough questions,? PrePlay?s Mr. Daines said.

?This compares with other mobile apps linked to the TV that have really quick user sessions,? he said. ?These users tend to go in and do a post but they do not stay long.

?There is value in PrePlay to a sponsor like Subway because it delivers a longer user session.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York