Earlier this month, Alex Ovechkin signed a new endorsement deal with Plarium to rep the free-to-play mobile game Throne: Kingdom at War. Ovechkin, who also has signed deals with Papa John’s and Russia’s Bank Otkrytie over the last year, joined a who’s who of world-famous athletes for Plarium’s digital campaign including future Hall of Fame basketball player Tony Parker, former MMA champion Anderson Silva, and Atletico Madrid’s Fernando Torres.
For the photoshoot, Ovechkin threw on body armor and a specially-made Throne hockey jersey. In one photo, he is shown letting out an intense roar as he goes into digi-battle. In another, he glares at the camera while his hockey stick is on fire and a small village burns to the ground.
“The purpose of this campaign is to highlight the spectrum of emotions that players can experience in the game through our ability to give them the best opportunity to cooperate with each other, and exercise their desire to compete and achieve victory whether alone or with a team,” Roman Zhdanov, VP of Marketing at Plarium, said. “We selected some of the best athletes across a variety of sports to convey this emotional lift that the game provides, because nearly everyone has seen the uplifting power of sports.”
“Any good partnership starts with authenticity and it is no secret that Alex Ovechkin is a huge gamer,” Ovechkin’s longtime agent David Abrutyn said. “No matter if he’s relaxing at home with his friends or traveling with the team, he is playing games. Plarium is one of the premiere mobile gaming companies. As they were planning for this new gaming launch and came up with the concept of athlete warriors, Ovi was a great fit. They have done a great job in connecting Ovi’s personality and warrior-like attributes to latest game, and as usual Ovi had a lot of fun contributing.”
Based in Israel, Plarium is a mobile, social, and web-based game developer, known for their massively multiplayer online games, including Total Domination, Soldiers, Inc., Sparta: War of Empires, and Stormfall. The strategy game Ovechkin’s hawking, Throne: Kingdom at War, follows in the same vein and is set in a fictional medieval world.
Plarium’s press release explains the plot of the game further.
Players fight to claim the ancient throne of the Kingdom of Amaria after the old King Gerhard’s passing. Players will build their own Towns and armies consisting of Knights, Spearmen, Scouts, and more to bludgeon their way to power. Throne offers a gripping original story along with cutting-edge graphics, music and game mechanics to immerse players in a PvE and PvP experience.
The new endorsement deal continues to highlight how transcendent of a hockey player Ovechkin is. While hockey as a sport struggles for national attention, Ovechkin is seemingly the one player that can always break through and connect with a larger audience.
I asked Abrutyn his thoughts on why that is and his answer was tremendous.
Ovi is very passionate about everything he does. If he is going to do something, he wants to be the best at it. It’s a credit to him that he’s had the success he has had both on and off the ice.
His marketability starts with how he plays and the things he does on the ice. From The Goal to The Hit to his unbridled joy when other people score, he’s established himself as one of the most dynamic players of his generation and one the greatest goal-scorers in the history of the game. He is a leader, he gives back to the community, respects where he came from, and how he got to where he is.
Beyond that, he really enjoys working with companies and it shows in all he has done over the years. He never takes himself too seriously, has an incredible sense of humor, and a relentless drive to succeed. He lets brands use those things and that’s helped him become one of the most globally marketed players and breakthrough in ways hockey players rarely have.
Be it his fierce desire to compete that the Nike Play Russian campaign from Sochi featured, to his sense of humor in things like the ESPN Top 5 All Time This is Sports Center spot, and his upcoming Papa John’s DC campaign, to the great things Bauer has done to promote his history making career, to Beats By Dre showcasing his drive to win and so on (Coca Cola anyone!), Ovechkin helps brands connect with audiences.
When you connect with audiences, you drive business. Ovi has proven he can do that from the US to Canada, to Russia, and many other places around the world.
Throne: Kingdom at War is now available for users around the globe in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Russian, and can be accessed on the App Store and on Google Play.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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