Reebok has agreed a partnership with the upcoming online football game called Football Superstars, with IGA Worldwide to provide advertising integration.
Reebok will use the platform to launch its Ambassador Programme, a global search offering amateur players across the world the chance to win a sponsorship deal with Reebok and join its stable of footballers such as Thierry Henry, Ryan Giggs and Iker Casillas and win a professional-style football boot deal.
Successful entrants will be transported into the world of the professional footballer, winning a supply of Reebok boots and kit (in and outside of the game), in game currency, custom apparel for their avatars, as well as the chance to interview Barcelona and France striker Thierry Henry, as part of the Reebok Ambassador Programme.
Created by UK based company CyberSports, Football Superstars is the first MMOG (massively multi player online game) of its kind, recreating a 3D virtual football world that enables thousands of human players to compete alongside, as well as against one another online. Experiencing all the luxury trappings that come with being a top-flight footballer.
Virtual Advertising hoardings, provided by IGA, will appear around the numerous Football Superstars pitches to support Reebok's Ambassador Programme. There will also be as a registration link on Reebok's home page offering three months 'premium' subscription to Football Superstars and registrants will also be eligible to enter the Reebok Ambassador Programme.
John Zaheer-Flaherty, Reebok's Global Head of Football said, "We're excited to join the virtual world of Football Superstars. The game and the platform is a perfect fit for Reebok, allowing gamers to express themselves rather than telling them how to play the game."
Giuseppe Bellanca, VP Ad Sales Europe at IGA Worldwide added, "This game offers brands the unique chance to reach the European market. We are thrilled to be involved with a partnership which combines a high-profile sports brand with the first MMO to pioneer the inclusion of a virtual world in its game. Reebok's investment into this space demonstrates the ever-growing appeal and almost limitless possibilities of this medium."
In Football Superstars - developed by Nottingham based Monumental Games - players re-create themselves online as a footballer and then have free reign in the state of the art interactive virtual world. Players can play their way from 3-a-side up to 11-a-side matches, gaining attributes and skills in order to specialise in their chosen playing position. Away from the pitch players can socialise in restaurants, bars and clubs and visit shops where you can buy the latest equipment and designer clothes. Players can train in gyms and on training pitches to enhance their skills or flirt with the paparazzi in a bid to boost their fame and status and gain access to the most exclusive clubs and venues.
Andy Law, Head of Business Development at CyberSports, said: "This is a great deal for us and Football Superstars. Reebok are a high profile and firm favourite football brand and they will bring an even more realistic dimension to the game play, blurring the reality between the virtual and the real worlds which is what Football Superstars is all about."
In june 2008 CyberSports also signed a deal with international sportswear company Puma to incorporate their products and branding into the Football Superstars world.
Aspiring Football Superstars will begin their training in a Puma stadium and once they’ve established themselves at a club and earned some money they’ll be able to drop by a Puma store, modeled on the flagship Carnaby Street store, and pick up a pair of Puma’s v1.08 Speed Boots.