The First Slam-Dunk Second Life Strategy - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Cloud
Commentary
5/1/2007
02:31 PM
Tom Smith
Tom Smith
Commentary
50%
50%

The First Slam-Dunk Second Life Strategy

In recent months, InformationWeek's Mitch Wagner has immersed himself in Second Life, chronicling much of the time he's spent there and positing many potential business applications for the virtual world. While he's argued persuasively to our readers and to his coworkers that SL has near-term business utility, I've been something of a skeptic.

In recent months, InformationWeek's Mitch Wagner has immersed himself in Second Life, chronicling much of the time he's spent there and positing many potential business applications for the virtual world. While he's argued persuasively to our readers and to his coworkers that SL has near-term business utility, I've been something of a skeptic.I'm not a regular user of SL, but the time I did spend there left me with serious questions about where big companies would ever get any return for their investment. My experiences at high-profile SL sites including Circuit City and Toyota fed my view that SL may be nothing more than this year's Internet fad.

While most of those questions linger, the light bulb went on for me when I read Mitch's latest SL installment, about a major push being made by the National Basketball Association. The NBA's the first example I see where SL is a great extension of its existing business model. Pro basketball is the very definition of a multimedia, cross-platform business that depends on the involvement and interaction of its audience/fan base, and where there's already an extensive set of options to "participate" in the NBA through multimedia products (think NBA games for the PS2, XBox and so on, to name just a few).

So it's not a leap to think about visting the NBA area in SL and using a virtual basketball court (H-O-R-S-E, anyone?), a real world-like shop where you can buy NBA gear for your avatar, a real-time feed of NBA scores and news, video lounges, avatar photos with the NBA championship trophy, an online video game and more.

I see other indicators that the NBA is doing SL right: corporate sponsorships that are undoubtedly underwriting parts of a very big investment and pulling key business partners into the strategy, plus the league commissioner's comment that it must rethink how "fans consume NBA content." Thanks to the Internet, we live in a content-driven business world. Basketball games are just another form of content, and the NBA is staking a leadership position in using SL as a means to make its content accessible to another audience.

For his part, Mitch weighs in with a blog entry on how the NBA is doing better than most in terms of appealing to fans and building out its community through SL. All his SL blog posts are archived here.

Can the NBA give SL the credibility it needs with business? Will the NBA or other established forms of entertainment get you to jump into SL? Share your view below.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll