News & Views

bwin / 10 Minute Madness

by Contagious Team

Online gambling brand's real-time two-screen campaign aims to convert viewers into gamers

Online gambling company bwin recently launched a second-screen digital game to run alongside broadcasts of the Euroleague basketball competition. 

Created by AKQA, Amsterdam, the 10 Minute Madness game lets viewers predict key moments in the games as they happen, in real time. Visitors to a dedicated website first pick which match they're watching. If a particular match hasn't started, they can enter their email address to receive a reminder one hour before the game starts. 

During gameplay, people predict which team will win, which players will score, etc, with correct guesses earning points and prizes such as basketball merchandise and VIP Courtside tickets for the Euroleague Final Four in London. 

Contagious caught up with AKQA's group account director, James Scott, to find out some of the thinking behind the campaign and how the agency applied some of its experience creating the groundbreaking Heineken StarPlayer app to this campaign. 

ContagiousWhat was the specific business challenge that bwin came to you with? 

James Scott: The brief was to digitally leverage the Euroleague sponsorship to establish bwin as an authentic partner in the world of basketball. We felt we could draw Euroleague fans closer to the action by asking them to make a choice and enjoy the thrill of having 'skin in the game', a benefit directly in line with bwin's core product offering. 

From a business perspective, we had the opportunity to go beyond the brief and deliver an experience that provides the potential of converting basketball fans into bwin gamers. Participants that enjoy the free-to-play game can compete for prizes and register for bwin's full suite of sports betting products. 

What lessons did you learn from StarPlayer which have been applied to 10 Minute Madness? 

JS: Every sport has a different rhythm which means that adding a game layer can require very different gameplay depending on the sport. We learnt from StarPlayer the importance of ensuring our game layer doesn't distract from the action of the sport itself. So in both StarPlayer  and 10 Minute Madness our questions and challenges are additive rather than distracting. 

Another lesson from StarPlayer, and in fact across many of our current client projects, is mobile first. With European smartphone penetration at 55% [according to ComScore], consumers are naturally gravitating to mobile, at home, in a stadium, or in other social situations. 

Finally, the importance of social integration and gamification. StarPlayer was incredibly successful at organically recruiting new participants into the game through social extensions and retaining core players through badges, in-game rewards, and instant gratification. This was also a central focus for Euroleague. 

Finally, why was the decision made to go with a mobile-optimised site rather than an app? 

JS: Our goal was to be lightweight and generous, providing gamers maximum reward with minimum effort but also delivering high reach and a low barrier to entry. The team worked hard to ensure the game play interaction is relatively straightforward, users are simply interacting with bwin's privileged data feed and webservices, we were also able to remove any requirements for native functionality. Providing 10 Minute Madness across platform, with a focus on mobile, was a natural decision.

Contagious Insight
Although AKQA's StarPlayer app work for Heineken set the benchmark for this type of two-screen gaming (spawning numerous competitors in its wake), the concept feels like it may have found the most appropriate combination of sport and sponsor with Euroleague and bwin. The fast-paced nature of basketball coupled with the predictive aspects of gambling work perfectly together, while the prizes on offer provide a greater incentive than just bragging rights. 

While we've talked at length in the past about the various benefits around two-screen experiences (encouraging live viewing rather than timeshifting, increasing loyalty and engagement among viewers), there's a very specific advantage for bwin here. Once people start playing 10 Minute Madness and earning points, it's easy to imagine them turning that confidence into actual bets - which is surely the end goal for an online gambling firm.

This story originally appeared on Contagious Feed. Contagious Feed is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious Feed contact