SOURCE: NEWgame

September 15, 2005 07:00 ET

Ground-breaking Online Video Magazine Melds Interactivity of the Web With Power of Television

University of Texas Longhorns Vmag® Hooks the Fans as Football Season Kicks Off; 21 Percent Click-through and 89 Percent Viewing Rates Prove Value as Sports Marketing Tool

AUSTIN, TX and CHARLOTTE, NC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 15, 2005 -- With leading analysts projecting that subscription and ad-supported television will be enormously impacted by the collective impact of Internet video, streaming and mobile television services, the new University of Texas Longhorns Vmag online video magazine series is being used to further build the buzz by giving Texas fans a seat over the Internet.

According to Sports Illustrated, The University of Texas v. Ohio State University showdown on September 10 was the college game to watch in 2005. And, after a 25-22 win, it is obvious that the No. 2 ranked Longhorns have raised their national profile! Last week, the Vmag video crew traveled on the team plane and captured all the game day excitement including Coach Mack Brown's halftime and post-game locker room comments.

With online advertising alone expected to more than double from last year's $9.3 billion to $19 billion by 2010 at the expense of traditional media, according to Jupiter Research, big brand advertisers are now evaluating video products like the UT Vmag. According to an article in the Hollywood Reporter, "Instead of relying solely on consumers finding their programs, TV networks and their Big Media parents are seeking out consumers everywhere they can... with traditional moviegoing and TV viewing facing audience erosion as so many other forms of new-media distribution gain speed, Iger, Murdoch and their Big Media contemporaries are beginning to give the status quo a good shaking."

In a press conference on August 2, 2005, Texas football coach Mack Brown unveiled the Vmag as a unique and innovative way to enjoy the football season. Sent weekly, each Vmag contains 5-15 minutes of TV-quality video and audio with articles, photographs and links to online properties. The Vmag "Webisodes" are sent directly to the desktop of subscribers and bring behind-the-scenes access to the inner workings of the Longhorns football program. The first two issues built pre-season buzz and gave UT fans exclusive footage and insight into the program -- access they can't get on TV or anywhere else.

The results are illustrative of the quality and success of the new marketing channel:

--  88.6 percent of the recipients view the Vmag at least once with the
    average being 2.1 views per recipient
--  21.4 percent of the recipients click-through to the Longhorns online
    store (www.longhornsltd.com)
--  86 percent of viewers have requested further promotional materials
    (i.e., newsletters, promotions, general information about athletics,
    special events, etc.)
--  22.5 percent of those who viewed the latest Vmag forwarded it to a
    friend
--  Subscribers from 49 states and 11 foreign countries
    
Fans already want more!

Fans are wowed by the Vmag and the access they gain into the inner workings of the football program. In a random drawing, five lucky Vmag viewers were chosen to attend a practice, visit the players lounge and ride on the official team bus, guided on their tour by Brown himself.

"It was just spectacular and exceeded my wildest expectations," said Bill Rubinsky, a Texas Exes member and one of the five winners. "You put me on the field, in the huddle, in the locker room and in the coach's office. For a UT fanatic like me, to actually attend a practice and meet Coach Brown was the experience of a lifetime. The best thing is that through your Vmag product, I can continue that experience!"

The reaction to this remarkable access has gained even more momentum with the backing of the Texas Exes. The UT Alumni Association has joined ranks with UT Athletics to promote the series to ensure its 400,000-plus living alumni are aware and have every opportunity to subscribe.

In the September Vmags, the viewers received about 15 minutes of game-day coverage -- footage only available to Vmag subscribers. Future Vmag issues will include even more exciting Longhorns action. Highlights include vignettes on the preparation and hoopla surrounding the much-anticipated "SBC Red River Rivalry" v. Oklahoma, special issues on Brown's locker room speeches and a breakdown of game winning plays. November issues will focus on the forthcoming "State Farm Lone Star Showdown" against Texas A&M and the road to post-season competition.

The Vmag is produced by NEWgame Communications via an agreement with Host Communications, the multimedia rights-holder for UT Athletics. For more information, please visit www.vmag.net.

About NEWgame Communications:

NEWgame is the producer of the Vmag®, a safe broadcast platform that delivers video magazines straight to the desktop using a "polite" background delivery method. By integrating text, images, Web links and full-screen, broadcast-quality audio and video, Vmag gives brand marketers and advertising agencies a direct connection to consumers by opening a compelling, and unique, e-marketing channel. The NCAA, Saint Mary's College, University of Texas, USDM and Vacation Express currently use the Vmag to enhance their online marketing efforts. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, NEWgame can be found on the Web at www.vmag.net.

Contact Information

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