MasterCard goes digital with Xbox Live

The credit card co has partnered with the gaming platform to target consumers during the 2011 Memorial Cup.

MasterCard has collaborated with Xbox Live and Microsoft Advertising for the 2011 Memorial Cup in support of “North America’s Toughest Championship” with a video- and image-driven microsite on the gaming portal.

In order to engage gamers and create awareness for the hockey championship, MasterCard launched a brand development experience (BDE) landing page created by Toronto-based agency MacLaren McCann.

The microsite launched last week and will sit within the Xbox Live online environment until June 10.

The BDE acts as a host for up to six display videos and photo galleries where registered users can surf through current as well as archived Memorial Cup highlights, Kobi Gulersen, account manager, MacLaren McCann, tells MiC.

Partnering with Xbox during the championship is an ideal move for MasterCard as it attempts to penetrate the market of male (61%) and female gamers (39%), says Gulersen.

“We felt that [Xbox Live] is something different and for the Memorial Cup, it is an untapped market as far as engaging with gamers,” adds Gulersen. “If you look at the popularity of hockey gaming, it’s quite high on the list. So, we thought, since hockey is a popular game to play on Xbox, then this would be a good fit.”

For MasterCard, there is a natural affiliation with Xbox and its e-commerce platform, offering credit card transactions in its gaming marketplace, says Gulersen.
“MasterCard has always been really good at trying new things” he says. “We see an opportunity, we test it, we see if it is a success and if we feel that it makes sense, we continue and extend on the partnership.”

The Memorial Cup is being held in Mississauga, ON, from May 19 to 29.

Additional sponsors for the hockey tournament include BMO, Subway and Hershey.