With the NFL regular season fast approaching, the football league this week announced its first-ever NFL Fan Rewards. The program gives regular users of NFL.com virtual coins in exchange for reading articles, commenting and taking part in other activities on the site.

The coins can be redeemed for a variety of items, including NFLShop.com discounts, merchandise, and entry to a sweepstakes with a chance to win tickets to the Super Bowl and other NFL events, among other perks. Fans can collect badges and see how they stack up against one another on leaderboards.

In other words, the NFL is gamifying its site — applying the mechanics of video games to other activities. And this looks like another win for Seattle gamification startup BigDoor in the world of pro sports.

BigDoor isn’t mentioned in the official announcement, and the company isn’t commenting. (Sometimes these deals come with confidentiality clauses.) But after seeing the NFL.com announcement, we did some poking around on NFL Fan Rewards, and the terms of service make it clear that BigDoor’s gamification platform is being used as the underlying technology.

It’s not unprecedented. The startup also works with MLB.com on its fan rewards program. (Here’s a case study from the 2011 season explaining how it works.)

BigDoor was founded in 2009 by Seattle tech vets Keith Smith and Jeff Malek. Other major customers include Dell and Nickelodeon, and the company says it works with more than 300 web properties overall. The company, which competes against companies including BunchBall and BadgeVille, raised $5 million in funding earlier this year, bringing its total to $13 million in venture capital.

You can sign up for the NFL Fan Rewards program here.

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  • http://giftguy.co/ Stephen Medawar

    Congrats to the team at @BigDoor!

  • nealfreeland

    Congratulations Keith and Jeff and the BigDoor team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=213751 Rajat Paharia

    Congrats to BigDoor, that’s a great customer win!

  • http://www.facebook.com/abrahamich Abraham Velez

    this rewards program sucks, Ive posted tons of comments on articles, shared many media videos, playing fantasy football, etc… and I dont get any rewards coins or points, except for watching videos…

  • Paul

    How the hell are some of these guys already up to hundreds of thousands of points. I joined right when it started and hit it every day. I am trickling along at 22,000 points and 8200 coins. How can someone have 250,000 points and 150,00 coins if we are only allotted a certain amount per day/week? Someone explain how this works, as you cant post a question on any of the reward pages.

    • Tony

      Paul, apparently if one goes to the NFL Rewards page via someone else’s link (Facebook, Twitter, others), then both people get points.

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