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.
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.