As MySpace has grown at a phenomenal rate to meet the needs of its members, the poker community has taken notice and begun to use the site as an advertising and marketing tool. With a connection to over 50 million people, which is the most recent estimate, and no charge to the user, poker companies are using the site to market their products and services to a vast market.
Though a great many of the MySpace members are young, so are people that are entering the poker world in massive numbers. That match has led businesses to tap into this market with great success.
Online poker sites have just begun to use MySpace to bring people to their sites. Full Tilt Poker has created a page that promotes their sponsored players and posts blogs that includes bonus information to encourage visitors to log on to their official website and play poker. Other sites also have pages, such as Empire Poker, Titan Poker, and Pacific Poker. All list bonuses and links to their respective sites.
Kristin Cranford, co-founder and co-owner of K & K Novelties, LLC, chose MySpace as one of her marketing tools when trying to expand her customer base for her product, PokerPadz. She saw a news piece on the demographics of MySpace users, and decided to design a page and begin the process. “I set out to find the ‘poker community’”, she recalled. “Once I found them, mainly online college players, they loved the product and immediately started purchasing it, contacting me to sell in their [online] stores, etc.”
Other companies use their MySpace pages to spread the word about poker events. By accumulating a large number of “friends” or connections through the site, the forwarding of one press release or informative e-mail reaches the masses. This is the goal of Eveliene Dullaart, Executive in Charge of the Bicycle Casino’s “Live at the Bike” internet telecasts. The Los Angeles card room broadcasts live poker from the casino floor every week, sometimes including commentary or play by professional players. “MySpace accounts for one of our largest referrals,” she said. “We talk about it daily on the show as well, [which drives] new ‘friends’ there. It’s all about exposure.”
And that’s the biggest benefit of MySpace for poker – exposure. With the ability to include streaming video and pictures on the page, visitors can see the product or service and immediately link to it or add it to the list of contacts to receive updates and information. “That exposure is priceless,” said Cranford, “because of more clients, increased sales, and [entire] new resale accounts.”
The downside to MySpace, if there is one, is that there is there is a great deal of cross-marketing. In order to be added as someone’s “friend”, their company will in turn be listed on your contact list. However, the user can choose not to add someone to their list. In addition, it is sometimes time-consuming to edit everyone’s comments to edit out things that are unflattering or offensive.
All in all, though, the poker community is finding MySpace to be a great resource. For players who spend a great deal of time on the road, this is a means of keeping in touch with friends, family, and fans. It is also a way to find out what is new in the ever-growing poker world, what products are on the market, what magazines and books are being released, and what internet and television broadcasts are being seen around the world.
As MySpace continues to expand and adjust to corporate ownership, the future is uncertain. For now, it remains free and accessible to all in the poker community to spread the word and keep the game thriving.
Ed Note: Your space is waiting for you at Poker Stars