CASE STUDY: “Interactive Agency”

Expertise Provided: Public relations Media relations Blog promotion Email marketing Online advertising

The University of Texas Longhorns Vmag

About NEWgame Communications: NEWgame is the creator and distributor of the Vmag®, a safe broadcast platform that delivers video magazines straight to the desktop. By integrating text, images, Web links and full-screen, broadcast-quality audio and video, Vmag gives brand marketers and advertising agencies a direct connection to consumers by opening a compelling, and unique channel. Situation NEWgame Communications, teamed up with the University of Texas Longhorns Athletic department to create a new and exciting way to use their online video magazine technology. To give the Longhorns football fans access like never before, Coach Mack Brown allowed NEWgame reporters and a camera crew to follow his team from game to game, on and off the field, in the locker room and up close and personal. NEWgame then packaged up all the behind-the-scenes footage and commentary into a weekly online video magazine – the UT Longhorns Vmag. Subscribers to the Vmag received 10 to 15 minutes of exclusive content in TVquality audio and video delivered straight to their desktops each week. Solution blast! PR began a marketing plan for the UT Vmag in the spring of 2005 that included goals such as: Generating interest and adoption of the Vmag Educating audiences about the Vmag technology Generating interest from sports, marketing, and traditional advertising publications In the whirlwind surrounding the first UT football game, blast! PR sent out a press release to all relevant reporters and publications, followed by a press conference with Head Coach Mack Brown and CEO of NEWgame, Kathleen Hessert. Reporters were invited to listen as Brown and Hessert

explained the significance of the Vmag as an education and marketing tool. They also discussed the exciting footage to be captured throughout the football season by the Vmag reporters. Several follow-on press releases continued to encourage more subscriptions as the season went on. blast! PR also suggested several online and offline strategies for increasing public awareness of the Vmag. Online campaigns consisted a blog, banner ads on Mack Brown’s Web site, targeted email campaigns, and seeding fan message boards with Vmag. blast! PR suggested NEWgame conduct guerilla and viral campaigns such as handing out Vmag logo imprinted giveaways at home football games and a forward-to-a-friend link on all Vmag issues. As the first season of the UT Longhorn Vmag came to a close, blast! PR promoted the entire series as a holiday gift collection on the Web site, the blog and in a personalized email sent to all the Vmag subscribers. Results The conference call generated 15 news stories in publications including, the Dallas Morning News, the Austin American Statesman, the Charlotte Observer, MediaPost Publications, ESPN, AdAge, the Austin Business Journal, the National Sports Forum and more! By the end of the season, the Vmag’s reporting system identified subscribers in 49 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and 13 foreign countries. Vmag also reports that 72% of the subscribers were not season ticket holders. Such statistics prove that blast! PR was able to create a buzz and reach out to displaced fans across the globe!

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