Harlem Globetrotters Debut Online Games

Sweet Georgia Brown! The Harlem Globetrotters are getting into the advergaming space with The Original Harlem Globetrotters Dunk Off! and Globetrotters Spin That Ball games debuting on Web site Candystand.com on Thursday.

The deal was announced at a private VIP event at Madison Square Garden last week.

Advergaming is an immersive brand experience. Through the deal and the games’ stickiness, the strategy was to extend the comic exhibition basketball team’s playful brand to the Web in a way that simply using banner ads to sell tickets or announce upcoming games could not. The games, especially Dunk Off!, feature rich, 3D-rendered versions of current Globetrotters, including Special K (the showman) and Scooter (the dribbler).

“The only difference between our games and a banner ad is our games are fun,” said Scott Tannen, president of Funtank, which runs the casual gaming portal. “People spend 15 minutes on average playing them.” According to site statistics, Candystand.com averages 10 million visitors per month and currently features more than 100 Flash and Shockwave games.

Candystand.com, which was owned by Wrigley until being acquired by Funtank last year, will reskin the homepage for the Globetrotters games launch. “There will be no mistaking it,” said Tannen, who comes from a CPG background with Kraft and Wrigley. “We’re not going to be whispering.”