Many of us have watched at least the clip of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, on the HBO show “Hard Knocks” talking with the team during the first days of training camp. The entire “Hard Knocks” series of the show has only made the bulls-eye on their backs larger. Now, the Jets are looking to take over Facebook with the launching of their Facebook game application. Looking to take advantage of the more than 177,000 fans on Facebook the Jets have partnered with online games developer Arkadium, Inc. to launch NY Jets Ultimate Fan.
The application is accessible via the Jet’s Facebook page. It includes a game where the fans can build a virtual tailgate party as well as other games where you can predict NFL game winners and who is going to run or pass for the most yards during the next week of games. Graphically, the application takes a departure from very successful games such as Farmville. It incorporates many television production elements which do a good job keeping users engaged. The application is free, but similar to most popular games on Facebook, there is a major virtual goods component which can assist each person in progressing more rapidly through the game.
Although we expect that additional team to follow the Jet’s path with this specific game on Facebook, the key will be to see if any of the virtual goods translate into actual merchandise being purchased. How effective will this game be if the Jet’s season doesn’t go as planned? Will engagement stay at a high level? The best idea to design the main Jet’s fan page as a “meeting point” on game day and then use this Ultimate Fan application to keep fans online after the game as they continue to participate. Sponsorship was also mentioned to be in development for implementation into the game. Based on the amount of traffic, a forward thinking sponsor could advertise within the game early on in the season. During the playoffs (assuming the Jets make the playoffs), online media exposure could double or triple regular season traffic which would result in an advertising win.
The success of the NY Jets Ultimate Fan application is worthy of watching throughout the NFL Season. NY Jets fans, are you playing this game right now on Facebook? Leave us your thoughts and stories in the comment section.