Tony Parker and Other Pro Athletes Become Knights in New Video Game Ads

Throne: Kingdom at War's campaign shows parallels between sports and gaming

The thrills of an NBA game or MMA fight are equally as thrilling as the virtual combat that happens in a video game—so says a new campaign for mobile game Throne: Kingdom at War.

The ads feature San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker, MMA former middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Washington Capitals' Alexander Ovechkin and Atletico Madrid soccer star Fernando Torres, all dressed in medieval armor, to show how elements of gamesmanship and athleticism can be found in the video game's fictional world. In the game, players fight to claim the ancient throne of the Kingdom of Amaria, building their own towns and armies to gain power.

"The purpose of this campaign is to highlight the spectrum of emotions that players can experience in the game, and exercise their desire to compete and achieve victory, whether alone or with a team," said Roman Zhdanov, vp of marketing at Plarium, the game's developer, in a statement. "We selected some of the best athletes across a variety of sports to convey this emotional lift that the game provides, because nearly everyone has seen the uplifting power of sports."

Parker, a huge gaming fan, is excited to be one of the faces of the campaign. "When I grew up, video games kept me out of trouble," he told Adweek. "When the opportunity came up, I thought it would be a great idea to be a part of it. As an athlete, you always want to be competitive, and when you're playing this game, your emotions are similar."