The cover athlete has been a long established tradition in sports video games. A sign of accomplishment and often an introduction into superstardom, it’s an honor for an athlete to grace the cover of their chosen sport. As the industry has evolved, popular culture (movies, music, TV, the Madden Curse and even sports video game championships) have brought the sports gaming culture to the mainstream.
2k Sports is introducing a new way to tease the cover athlete for NBA 2K13 today. Fans are invited to tweet #uncovernba2k and the more they tweet, the more tiles open up to reveal the cover athlete. Using this Facebook application fans can see the progress of the unveiling, find new clues to guess the athlete, and connect with other like-minded sports fans thanks to the twitter ticker.
This is a great way brands can tap into an event like a cover unveiling and increase the reach and impressions for the 2K brand. What they’re doing is taking something that people already would be talking about, and adding a social layer to amplify that shared experience.
In the past, other games have allowed fans to vote for the cover image athlete. Earlier this year, EA Sports’ Madden 2013 created a partnership with ESPN Radio to allow fans to vote for one cover athlete bracket-style.
How could they make this better? One word. Mosaic. I would love to see a rich Facebook app that would take your profile photo and create a photo mosaic of the cover image with all the people who have tweeted, but I think 2K is already doing a great job so far, with thousands of tweets generated.
Have you found any other examples of video games bringing together their fans in a similar social way? Let us know in the comments below.