Wireless Watch for May 6, 2004

NBA, WNBA in Marketing Pact with Nokia

Nokia has entered a two-way marketing pact with the NBA and WNBA to promote its products to basketball fans and deliver basketball content to owners of Nokia phones.

Nokia’s mobile and video-enabled phones will soon feature game highlights, news, scores, embedded content and logos, starting during the 2004 NBA Playoffs. The Nokia products and their new features will be promoted through various league media placements, including NBA TV, themed TV commercials, events, NBA.com, team alliances, and a presence in the NBA’s Hispanic initiatives.

U.K. Sees Quintupling of SMS Complaints

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a self-regulating body set up by the U.K.’s ad industry, reported a 500 percent increase last year in the number of complaints from Britons about text messaging campaigns. The total number of complaints rose from 65 in 2002 to 393 in 2003. Usually, complainants objected to messages they received notifying them they had won money in a prize drawing. Recipients were urged to dial a premium rate number to claim the prize, but never received winnings.

In March 2003, the ASA released the 11th edition of its CAP Code requirements, which include rules requiring marketers to obtain consent before contacting anyone via SMS. The new rule anticipated legislation that came into effect in the U.K. later in the year.

BBC Taps Flytxt for Mobile Strategy

BBC Magazines tapped Flytxt to manage mobile strategy for its teen portfolio, which includes Top of the Pops, It’s HOT! and Dare. With Flytxt’s help, BBC Magazines will increase the level of editorial interactivity in these magazines through voting, competitions and “opportunities to influence editorial content.”

Flytxt will provide mobile technology that will track user interactions and enable long-term relationships with readers, who will be invited to join mobile clubs.

“Flytxt is delighted to begin working with BBC Magazines’ teen portfolio. There is tremendous potential for the titles to develop their brand using existing and new mobile technologies such as MMS, WAP and Java,” said Dave Barker, commercial director for Flytxt.

Barry Bonds Mobile Game Launches

MFORMA Group has built a Barry Bonds mobile game. The six-time MVP and home run leader is featured in “Barry Bonds: Home Run History,” which lets players try to beat home run records set by other baseball greats. MFORMA’s exclusive licensing deal with Bonds means its video game will be the only one featuring the player in any format.

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