Virgin’s got game and cash. w00t!

Virgin launches a Facebook-like destination for console gamers looking to play for points, cash and prizes.

Virgin wants to do for gaming what online poker did for Texas Hold ’Em.
Last month it launched its newest venture, Virgin Gaming. It’s a Facebook-esque destination for console gamers of all skill levels looking to play in head-to-head matches and tournaments for points, cash and prizes, all from the comfort of their own couch.
Headquartered in Toronto, Virgin Gaming has a satellite office in London, and plans to open an office in Los Angeles in the next seven to eight months.  
On top of on-site advertising, opportunities for brands to get involved, like tournament sponsorships, are plentiful.
“We’re being approached by numerous brands that want to do promotions and contests,” says Rob Segal, CEO, Virgin Gaming, and Sony and retailer Game Stop are already onboard. Sony’s partnership features a tournament surrounding its ModNation Racers title, and the prize is a trip to Las Vegas, PSP swag and a new Sony TV. Canadian-specific brands looking to get into the game could headline Canadian-only tournaments.
Working with Cossette in Canada and Rocket XL in California, Virgin Gaming has concentrated promotions for its launch phase online, using internet ads, search, email and social media, including a Facebook page.
PR is also on the roster, with Toronto-based Splash Public Relations handling efforts in Canada, New York-based Highwater Group in the U.S. and London-based Lunch in the U.K. Traditional advertising, being developed by Petrol in California – including TV, print and POS, as well as in-game and experimental  –  is set to launch closer to the fall. Virgin Gaming is also partnering with game publishers.
“We’re already working to do things with them on television,” says Segal. “There are going to be retailer-based promotions, as well, and we’re going to do our own content for videogames in the online space.”