3-year deal is worth $100 million to Sony

By Matthew Fields, Brandweek

June 6, AdWeek

NEW YORK Sony is opening up its PlayStation 3 platform to allow brands to advertise on the medium. The deal could be worth $100 million over three years to Sony Computer Entertainment America, Foster City, Calif.

Video game marketer Electronic Arts, Redwood City, Calif., will be the first to take advantage of the PlayStation 3 platform via its EA Sports and EA brands. EA Sports games include Madden NFL football, NBA Live basketball, Nascar racing and NHL hockey. EA itself will run ads for The Need for Speed and Burnout.

In-game ad firm IGA Worldwide, New York, will handle. IGA aims to execute highly strategic campaigns to a targeted demographic of males 18-34. The company plans a 70/30 revenue split between it and any game publisher.

"It's exciting that the PS3 has opened up and marketers will now have access to the platform, as this represents a tremendous opportunity for brands targeting a valuable and hard-to-reach audience, plus it sends a clear message that dynamic in-game advertising has arrived as a compelling medium for marketers," said Justin Townsend, CEO of IGA.

An advantage to in-game advertising on PS3 is that the ads can be updated and adjusted in real time. The advertising also enhances the gaming experience, according to one study. In-game ad firm Massive, New York, conducted a survey on in-game ads among 30 Xbox 360 clients and concluded that "an average of 70 percent of gamers agreed with statements that the dynamic in-game ads contributed to realism, fit the games in which they were served and looked cool."

"EA is committed to providing effective advertising solutions for marketers," said Elizabeth Harz, EA's svp of global advertising sales. "Dynamic in-game advertising is an important growth area for our business, and we are excited to partner with IGA to provide industry leading in-game marketing."

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photo: In-game advertising on PS3 can be updated and adjusted in real time. (Photo: The Need for Speed)