Game on!

Matt Levitan is Sony Computer Entertainment Canada's first-ever marketing and PR manager. But he likely won't need much ramp-up time: He was previously VP, group business director at Segal Communications, the gaming giant's long-time agency, and Sony was his biggest client.

Matt Levitan is Sony Computer Entertainment Canada’s first-ever marketing and PR manager. But he likely won’t need much ramp-up time: He was previously VP, group business director at Segal Communications, the gaming giant’s long-time agency, and Sony was his biggest client.

After eight years at Segal, it was simply the right time to have someone guide the brand from the inside, says Levitan to explain the new position at the company, which remains small with 15 employees in its Toronto-based Canadian HQ. Size aside, this promises to be a big year for the brand with the launch of Sony’s latest platform, the PS3, in the coming months.

In his new role, Levitan will manage the marketing (Segal) and PR (Maverick) agency relationships, act as a day-to-day spokesperson and work closely with the retail chains that sell its systems, like Wal-Mart and Best Buy. The retail aspect, incidentally, plays into another of his top priorities for the year. ‘I want to get creative with [POP],’ he says, ‘and [introduce] more attention-grabbing things for the consumer.’ The brand has also hired four national sales managers in the past three months who will work directly with its retail clients.

While the launch date of the PS3 remains top-secret, Levitan says the marketing mix will include cinema, specialty channel buys and sampling. The PlayStation trucks, for example, remain a big part of the sampling strategy because they not only create an important touchpoint for consumers, but put the console and games in their hands in close proximity to where they can then purchase the products. In Canada, two 50-foot trucks appear at store openings and key events.