gives baseball fans a chance to play

Those who can't get to the ballpark can make predictions and chat online with 'Game in the Game,' an interactive platform open for sponsorships.

Toronto Blue Jays are opening the baseball season on home turf tonight, and is giving viewers who won’t be at the Rogers Centre the option to participate with an interactive platform called ‘Game in the Game.’

Waterloo, Ont.-based software company LiveHive Systems debuted its NanoGaming trivia and prediction quizzes last October with the NHL season. Between 3,000 and 6,000 gamers participated per week, about 77% of them male, with an average age of 32, says Eddie Khang, marketing manager at Sportsnet. Because the baseball season is so long, this year Sportsnet has broken up the sponsorships into three segments, giving advertisers the opportunity to brand the games and quizzes eight weeks at a time. ‘Sponsoring this thing for the entire season would have been overwhelming, especially in this economy,’ says Khang.

Sponsors will be also included in a promo spot running on the network and in in-game mentions by announcers, Khang tells MiC. In addition, a point-based system allows for demographic questions of sex, age and income, which brands can use to tailor their advertising, he says.

Fans are able to make such predictions as ‘Who will score first?’ or ‘Will the runner try to steal second base on this pitch?’ with some sponsor-related trivia thrown in for good measure. In addition, fans are able to chat with other Blue Jay fans, and create groups with their friends in order to establish mini-competitions amongst themselves. The average length of play has been about 70 minutes – 138 minutes if those players who drop off after 10 minutes are excluded. Participants compete against each other for points, a position on the leaderboard, and for prizes including HDTVs offered by prizing sponsor Sharpe Electronics. NanoGaming will be available during 100 Blue Jay games in the 2009 season.