Facebook Game Sports Pick ‘Em Opens Playbook To Brands

By Justin Lafferty 

People love sports. Sports fans love bragging rights. OHK Sports tapped into this sentiment for a fun Facebook game, SportsPicker, which allows users to challenge friends on sports predictions. OHK Sports announced Thursday that it is offering a similar service, Sports Pick ‘Em, to brands on Facebook that want to connect with sports fans.

Through Sports Pick ‘Em, brands can place widgets on their Facebook pages or website that connect to the game. This allows brands and companies that want to connect to fans through sports to easily do so. Through this widget, companies can brand contests and make them their own. For instance, a company can run a March Madness contest, pitting fans against each other for prizes.

Should a brand choose the Sports Pick ‘Em Facebook widget, it would make a user like the page before being able to play, boosting fan numbers for the page. The website app would be custom-tailored to the brand to include colors and images. Facebook fans can compete in contests predicting the winners of games in the National Basketball Association, National Football League, and college basketball and football.

OHK Labs CEO Oren Kantor said he thought of the idea for SportsPicker while watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament, also known as March Madness. Through office pools and other contests, the tournament is a unifying force, allowing die-hard hoops fans and newbies to guess how the field of 68 college basketball teams will result in one champion. He thought a Facebook game would be a great way to spread the feeling through the social network. After conferring with lawyers, he discovered that he’d be able to distribute prizes, and not just bragging rights, through the game.

Kantor said that through SportsPicker, the current Facebook application, time spent on the app rose from 1.5 minutes to six minutes after prizes were part of the game via sponsored challenges.

Kantor spoke with AllFacebook about how Sports Pick ‘Em would be a worthwhile addition for a brand’s Facebook campaign:

What we realized we had created was an engagement platform where once we did get the users in the system, they became super-engaged and spent a ton of time on the site. They’re exposed to my brand, and I thought, “Hey, this works perfectly for a brand that has a huge fan base that they could send this out to and that is looking for a product to engage them.” Brands or media sites with large fan bases can blast Sports Pick ‘Em out to them, and we offer the platform that, with a single line of code, can run on their website or on their Facebook page in a widget.

Readers: How do you connect with sports fans through Facebook?