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Brief Published: 21 Apr 2021

Burger King Ties NBA 2K21 Trick Shots to Real-Life Rewards

Tapping into the soaring interest in gaming and streaming, Burger King Spain has teamed up with basketball game NBA 2K21 to reward PlayStation players with free food for making shots on a branded in-game court.

'The Menu Court' is plastered with images of popular Burger King items, such as fries and Whoppers. If players score whilst stood on an item, they can post the video to Twitter, tagging Burger King, NBA 2K21 and #BKMenuCourt to redeem its real-world equivalent. Spanish agency David Madrid designed the engagement-driving campaign, which has been promoted across YouTube and Twitch by Spanish gamers Robert PG, Papi Gavi and Vituber.

By taking their challenge to a dedicated space, Burger King builds brand affinity without antagonising gamers with disrupted gameplay. Additionally, sports fans are already accustomed to seeing jerseys and stadia emblazoned with sponsors, so branded in-game content only adds to the world-building. And social sharing has become an integral part of gaming (see PlayStation Unveils Game-Changing User Interface). In-game activations take the 'hashtag challenge' uplift from social video platforms into gaming spaces unconstrained by real-life limitations.

Burger King will be hoping its latest gaming tie-in sees similar success to 2019's stunt with UK advertising agency Ogilvy, when it sponsored lowly English League Two football team Stevenage. The fast-food chain added its logo to the team's kit in football video game FIFA 2020, and then rewarded those who shared videos on Twitter of themselves completing in-game challenges wearing the virtually sponsored kit. Fans shared over 25,000 videos, and the football club – which averaged matchday audiences of less than 3,000 – sold out of real-life shirts (Ogilvy, 2021).

For more, see SportTechie 2021 and Gaming Goes IRL.