SAN FRANCISCO (May 24, 2011)– World Golf Tour (WGT), the most realistic sports game on the web, has significantly expanded its digital advertising team to meet growing demand from brand advertisers for virtual sponsorships and in-game product placement. WGT provides display and sponsorship advertising, which are the fastest growing segments of the $26 billion online advertising market in the U.S., as recently reported by PwC and IAB ( www.iab.net/AdRevenueReport).
Mark Jung has joined the Board of Directors at WGT to advise on business and media strategy. Jung is the founder and CEO of IGN Entertainment, which he built into a top games media property, took public in 2000 and sold to NewsCorp in 2005. At NewsCorp, Jung served as COO of Fox Interactive Media where he was responsible for all of its online properties including IGN.com, MySpace.com, FoxSports.com and AmericanIdol.com.
“Having Mark join our board is a tremendous validation of our business model and the future of sports media and gaming. His active participation is helping us take WGT to the next level,” commented YuChiang Cheng, co-founder and CEO, WGT.
“WGT is a unique company leading the evolution of online gaming merging with online media. Playing games is the most engaging activity online and with a passionate audience that’s well-suited for brand sponsorship. But unlike casual social games with a broad audience, WGT has a targeted demographic with deep player engagement, very similar to dedicated sports channels on cable TV,” commented Mark Jung.
John Rodenburg has also just joined WGT as its Vice President of Media Development. Rodenburg has an extraordinary career in sports advertising, with over 20 years at Time’s Sports Illustrated including serving as SI’s Associate Publisher, and over four years as the Publisher at Amex Publishing’s Travel&Leisure Golf.
“Sports media buying is steadily moving online,” commented John Rodenburg,“Top brands are looking for solutions beyond banner ads, and a realistic virtual sport platform like WGT with virtual tournaments and equipment gives brands new and creative ways to expand their online presence.”
WGT works closely with top brands and digital advertising agencies to develop online sponsorships based on the World Golf Tour platform. WGT is currently running a campaign for Ketel One ( www.facebook.com/KetelOne) that includes a Facebook promotion, virtual golf tournament and Ketel One in-game avatars. WGT also worked closely with Wild Tangent, a top online gaming media agency partner, to launch a campaign for Dove ( www.dovemencare.com) that include a branded one-shot golf experience and in-game product placement. This summer, WGT is hosting the Virtual U.S. Open and Virtual British Open, and is working closely with the USGA and R&A on sponsorships for the official exclusive online tournaments that reach millions of consumers.
WGT.com has the most engaged golf audience in the world and has quickly become one of the largest golf websites, clocking in at 30 minutes per average session with over three million monthly visits. The typical WGT player is a 16 handicap, middle-aged, married, affluent male—not the traditional video gamer.
“This is a significant time at WGT. We now have the platform, the audience and the experience to know what brands need—and with the addition of high-caliber executives like Mark Jung and John Rodenburg, we can significantly accelerate our ability to execute,” commented YuChiang Cheng.
About World Golf Tour
World Golf Tour (WGT) is the most realistic sports game on the web. WGT recreates famous golf courses including Bethpage, Kiawah Island and St Andrews in virtual reality using HD photography and patented technology. Each course is photographed from every angle, providing a true-to-life experience for golf enthusiasts. WGT is played using a web browser without any downloads or fees at www.wgt.com, on Facebook, or in the Google Chrome Web Store. Players can choose to purchase WGT credits to upgrade their virtual golf equipment, compete against each other, and enter tournaments to earn prizes such as real world golf trips. Virtual golf equipment is available from WGT sponsors, including GolfSmith, LoudMouth, PING, and TaylorMade. WGT is the online gaming partner of the USGA, R&A and LPGA and hosts virtual championships of many major golf tournaments, including the 2011 Virtual U.S. Open and the 2011 Open Championship. More at www.wgt.com.