Stick Sports – the publisher of the world’s most popular free online sports games and home to cricket’s second biggest website, stickcricket.com – is launching a new publishing strategy as it builds on its phenomenal success of the last five years. The strategy combines a host of new developments, including the consolidation of its stable of games into a single portal, its search for a new advertising sales house, an addictive new game for tennis fans and a new range of in-game advertising formats.
New Portal Is One-Stop Shop For “Work Avoidance” Gaming
The new portal, www.sticksports.com, brings together all the games from the Stick Sports brand into a single website. The portal features Stick Sports’ cricket, football, baseball, motorsports and tennis games, encouraging devotees to try out different games, keeping them on the site longer and making it easier for advertisers to run campaigns across the whole of Stick Sports’ portfolio of games.
Stick Sports’ more than 2 million monthly users are overwhelmingly young male professionals playing the game at work, and its games’ popularity among office workers is thought to have cost employers around the world millions of dollars.
“Stick Sports is more than just a games site – it’s a community, with forums, polls, news and results to keep our 2.2 million monthly visitors on the sites for long periods of time, which is great news for our advertising partners. What’s more, Stick Sports enables us to be creative with different advertising platforms, such as bespoke sponsored games and in-game advertising which engages, rather than distracts, our players. It all adds up to fantastic return on investment for our advertising partners.”
Stick Sports Seek New Ad Sales House
Stick Sports is searching for a new advertising sales house to maximise advertising revenue from brands eager to target the site’s key demographic of young male professionals. The new sales house will be truly independent, publisher agnostic and will be able to deliver a variety of ad formats, including rich media, video pre-rolls, custom page and takeovers. Given the popularity of the Stick Sports brand in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, the new sales house will naturally provide worldwide reach.
Stick Tennis Set To Be A Smash
March sees the official launch of Stick Tennis, the latest addition to Stick Sports’ portfolio. Just like its sister games, Stick Tennis serves up fast-paced, utterly addictive action which is easy to play but fiendish to master.
Stick Tennis provides even more engaging opportunities for marketers, with a wide variety of ad formats on the web page as well as “in-game”, including sponsors logos appearing on the court or on perimeter advertising.
Advertisers will take note that Stick Tennis garnered an impressive 800,000 visits in its first test month, a third more than its wildly popular sister game Stick Cricket achieved when it first launched. What’s more, Stick Tennis is proving to be highly “sticky”, with users averaging 16 minutes of playing time per visit.
Its three difficulty settings mean players can start competing immediately and hone their backhands, serves and smashes until they’re good enough to take on the ultimate adversary – the Hot Shot – or have a crack at winning the Australian Open. Players can choose from one, three or five set matches, so it’s the perfect diversion for a coffee break, a lunch hour or during a boring conference call.
Stick Sports’ Ambition For Global Domination
Stick Sports is complementing its global user base with on-the-ground operations in key territories around the world. A new office opens in Sydney’s central business district in March. The company is also finalising a sponsorship agreement with a major satellite TV network that will see Stick Sports’ games marketed to new audiences in Asia.
Paul Collins said, “”Over the last five years, Stick Sports has grown from an idea based on a cult cricket game to a multi-sport business, attracting blue chip advertisers from around the world and pulling in millions of unique visits a month.
“By combining our games onto a single portal, we’re bringing all of our audiences, whether for football, baseball, cricket, motorsport or tennis, to one place. This means that our advertising partners will maximise their exposure to our valuable demographic.
“Over the past five years we’ve created a real community of Stick Sports players, as evidenced by the amount of irreverent banter and cheerful “sledging” on our forums, our 1.5 million registered users and by the number of Stick Sports clips posted on video-sharing websites – not to mention a couple of dozen dedicated Stick Sports groups on Facebook alone. In the near future we’ll be incorporating social media elements into Stick Sports games making the portal even more engaging for users and encouraging them to stay on the site even longer.
“And we’re continuing to innovate for our advertising partners – we can now provide the capability for players to order food from delivery outlets directly through ads placed in or around Stick Sports games. Given that many of our users are playing games in their leisure time – in the evening or during lunch breaks – it’s a natural to progression to enable them to order food while playing games.
“This is set to be a great year for sport, and Stick Sports are gearing up for a host of events, including Wimbledon, Formula One, the Ashes, the Indian Premier League and the Twenty20 World Cup, not to mention the culmination of the English Premier League,” concluded Collins. “Our continued refinements mean that we’re now able to provide advertisers with an unbeatable range of opportunities to market to young consumers with disposable income.”