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New Balance?s Brine takes a swing at mobile with lacrosse game

New Balance brand Brine has introduced a new mobile lacrosse game designed to engage its audience and build loyalty by letting users unlock real gear to improve their scores.

To play the Brine Shootout app, users flick a finger across the screen to recreate the action of a shot. The app helps Brine engage lacrosse players ? its core audience ? while also introducing new products, building the brand?s social network and driving customer loyalty.

?It?s challenging to reach an audience who are constantly playing a sport, studying or hanging out with friends,? said Carolyn Hadlock, executive creative director at Young & Laramore, Indianapolis, IN.

?By creating an endemic mobile game, we?ve developed a platform to launch new products through, while reinforcing the Brine brand?s leadership position in the game,? she said.

?We also saw an opportunity in the LAX category since there wasn't a game or app that lived up to the mobile expectations of this target.?

Advertising agency Young & Laramore developed the Brine Shootout mobile game.

Scoring a goal
In addition to providing a way for Brine to continue the relationship with lacrosse players when they are off the field, the app also enables the brand to capture consumer data during summer lacrosse events.

Users view the lacrosse field at eye level from the vantage point of a player getting ready to shoot. A stick can be seen floating in front of the player and a ball is inside the pocket of the head.

By flicking a finger across the screen, the player recreates the action of a shot. Scoring gets increasingly more difficult through as the distance, angle and opposing players change.

The game also features a Power Shot, fueled by filling the Power Meter, which knocks over the opposing players in its path.

The game has four venues, Backyard, High School, College and Pro. Backyard is available initially, and new venues are unlocked as players score goals.

Users are rewarded with enhanced equipment and in-game features by submitting their contact information or by liking Brine on Facebook.

The app is available for the iOS and Android platforms.

Building a community
In its first month of being available, the game had just under 60,000 downloads, with 30 percent of users playing for half an hour or longer and 80 percent of all users having played more than once.

Additionally, players have created a Brine Shootout account on Twitter and using Brine Shootout hash tags to share their victories and defeats, Young & Laramore reports.

Footwear brands such as New Balance and Nike are enlisting mobile to help them reach targeted audience segments as sports fans increasingly flock to their mobile devices to check scores, watch recaps and otherwise keep up to date on their favorite sports.

For example, Nike recently launched an iPhone app designed to help golfers improve their game through the use of photos, social media and location (see story).

?The strategy is to ultimately build a community of lacrosse players around the Brine experience,? Ms. Hadlock said.