FEATURE: TalkSport's gaming plan

Christopher Dring
FEATURE: TalkSport's gaming plan

TalkSPORT and Sport’s sales director Kurt Edwards explains why the radio station and magazine are interested in the games industry...

Like any market, our success depends on meeting consumer demand and building loyalty from our customers. Recent surveys with our audiences have suggested that video games, alongside sport, features highly as an area of interest and that our brands would do well to cover them more.

69 per cent of listeners said they play games regularly and 79 per cent of which said they had played in the last week. So talkSPORT alone has a gaming audience of nearly 3m adults every month yet we seldom mention gaming across our platforms.

That’s why talkSPORT will be introducing a new weekly gaming feature on air that will discuss new releases, which games celebrities are playing and what listeners can expect from the latest innovations.

Alongside this we will look for games to become part of the language of the station and encourage our guests to share with us what they are playing. We want to help grow gaming’s popularity amongst our listeners and will also be exploring new commercial partnerships to allow them to buy games directly from our website, too. 

Sport magazine’s iPad edition will be showcasing more games trailers and we will endeavour to deliver more reviews in the print edition. Our newsstand launch means we reach a national audience more easily, and with it being a free download we have high hopes for the year ahead.

TALKING SHOP

Our brand footprint has grown seven per cent in the last year and this in turn has resulted in fantastic revenue growth from gaming advertising of over 75 per cent. We are of course delighted with this but we believe we are still missing out. The majority of advertising across our brands has been to support sport titles which smacks of the obvious and leads me to believe games publishers are missing a trick. 

When asked, online users said that first-person shooters and action adventure games were just as important to them, yet our platforms are seldom used to generate interest for these. When share of voice is becoming harder to achieve at launch, then talkSPORT and Sport can offer an alternative in delivering mass audiences.

Between our two brands we reach almost 6m adults every month and our recent success with the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 3D has shown we are effective at delivering engaging creative ideas. Sport had a cover wrap on the day of release which was made to look like a lightsaber when rolled up and given out to readers. talkSPORT had a station takeover which generated huge awareness and editorial support and our social media activity was not only trending but delivered a tweet reach of over 1.7m users.

More than ever, engagement is a key metric and our audience is never short of an opinion. Our social media posts are generating thousands of comments, and thanks to our Twitter following of nearly 900,000, our on-air content is increasingly shaped by online interaction. Our recent acquisition of leading social media agency Simply Zesty will allow us to extend this engagement and deliver further value across our platforms.

THE POWER OF SPORT

As more of the bigger launches almost become their own cultural events, we are in a good position to create excitement through our platforms. The passion of sport is unrivalled and our brands have become experts in channelling this for our commercial partners.

What also helps our cause is that many of today’s sporting celebrities are avid gamers. Many like Defoe, Rooney and Ferdinand are happy to share their experiences when talking to our presenters, who themselves are ultra-competitive in the office when playing. Their rivalry has carried over from their playing days and the chance to be the last man standing in Battlefield keeps them feeling young.

talkSPORT and Sport will also be working closely with Future Publishing to offer compelling joined up solutions to games publishers. Their content will help populate our on-air features and the pages of Sport. 

Future can deliver bespoke content along with a core audience of high volume gamers, while we can deliver a mass audience through a variety of complementary platforms. And Comscore also shows some level of crossover between our audiences.

We are delighted to be working closer with the games industry and to grow its popularity amongst our audience. We look forward to delivering engaging ideas that’ll make publishers stand out from the crowd.

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Tags: video games , edwards , talksport

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